House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Thursday that House Democrats are “very proud” of the the Supreme Court decision to uphold the Obama-era DACA program shielding young undocumented immigrants from deportation.
“The DACA decision is something that supports our values as a country,” Pelosi said in her weekly press conference. “We were in just such dread at what could possibly happen at the court up until last night — if it goes this way, if it goes that way — but this way is the American way, and we’re very proud of it.”
Beneficiaries of DACA, known as “DREAMers,” meeting certain qualifications are given temporary protection from deportation if they were brought to U.S. illegally as children. The program allows DREAMers to apply for college loans and work if they pass a background check and meet specified criteria.
President Trump sought to squash the program shortly after he took office, arguing that it was illegal and unconstitutional.
Public opinion polls, however, have shown overwhelming support for DACA — even 69 percent of those who supported Trump in 2016 when he vowed to deport beneficiaries of the program supported DACA, a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll found.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden who was vice president when DACA was established, also weighed in this week in support of the program.
“Immigrant youth are not a negotiating chip. They are not disposable,” he wrote in a statement marking the eight-year anniversary of the program.