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Courts / Law

Supreme Court's Ruling On DACA Is 'A Big Win,' Floridians Say

immigration rope lines
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The Supreme Court has rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants, nearly 25,000 of whom live in Florida.

The justices rejected administration arguments that the 8-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program is illegal and that courts have no role to play in reviewing the decision to end DACA.

The justices agreed with the lower courts and ruled that the Trump administration broke the law when it ended DACA, and the court’s decision restores the 2012 Obama administration DACA policy in full.

Maylin Rodriguez, a University of South Florida political science student and DACA recipient, is relieved she won't be sent back to Honduras, where she hasn't lived since she was 5. But she says the work isn’t done.

"This is a big win for us. I know that undocumented people don't usually receive big wins like this. But even though we did win today, we just have to continue fighting for those people that don't have a voice or don't have DACA."

“No one deserves to be illegal, especially not in the United States where some people have been here for five to 10 to 20 years contributing to this country.”

Advocates say this ruling is especially important during the coronavirus pandemic. The Center For American Progress estimates more than 6,000 Florida DACA recipients have been working at the forefront of the COVID-19 response in health care, first response, education, food-related jobs, and more.

The Center also says many of the 24,810 DACA recipients in Florida own homes and pay mortgages, and recipients contribute an estimated $72.5 million in state and local taxes and an estimated $165.5 million in federal taxes each year.

And Rodriguez says despite efforts to frame up immigration as a positive for the state and country, she’s “not a big fan of the narrative that we put on immigrants.”

“For example, if I have a degree, if I go to school, if I work, then I’m a good immigrant versus the bad immigrant, I think everyone should just deserve a chance to become legal and not have to fear deportation and have to fear a bunch of things that we do on a daily basis,” Rodriguez said.

Reactions from state lawmakers include: