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Southland Leaders Hail SCOTUS Ruling Upholding DACA

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Southland community leaders and Democratic elected officials today praised the U.S. Supreme Court for rejecting President Donald Trump's effort to dismantle the Obama-era program that protects from deportation some 800,000 immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

"Today's Supreme Court ruling on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) delivers a powerful message: this country and this city belong to Dreamers today," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote on his Twitter page. "This will remain your home tomorrow.

"Those who dared to dream are #HereToStay and can rest assured that Los Angeles remains a place of possibility and opportunity," he wrote.

With Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. leading the majority, the court ruled 5-4 against the administration. It called the decision to cancel the DACA program arbitrary and unjustified. The program allows young people who were brought to the country as children to register with the government and obtain a work permit if they have clean records.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, said the ruling means a sigh of relief for so-called Dreamers, about one-quarter of which are believed to live in California.

"The court has done the right thing and protected DACA recipients from the Trump Administration's arbitrary and capricious effort to destroy the DACA program," Roybal-Allard said. "The Obama Administration's creation of DACA in 2012 was a historic step to provide safety and security to hundreds of thousands of Dreamers who call America their only home. When the Trump Administration tried to terminate DACA, that sense of safety and security was ripped away."

Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis also said the ruling provides security, at least for now, for "hard-working immigrants."

"Dreamers embody the values of this country through their work ethic, their optimism and unwavering loyalty to this nation," Solis said. "DACA recipients are military veterans, medical students and employees of Fortune 500 companies. Dreamers are our friends, family members, employers and neighbors.''

Rep. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, said DACA recipients "have earned the right to the American Dream."

"They follow the law, contribute to our economy, pay taxes, and many are doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighter, and serve in our military," he said. "Our community in North Orange County is home to the largest number of Dreamers in America."

His Orange County congressional colleague, Democrat Linda Sanchez, who also represents part of eastern L.A. County, said the Supreme Court ruling was "a spark of hope."

"It brings certainty to thousands of DACA recipients across the country, especially for those Dreamers at the forefront of this legal battle and those working on the frontlines of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Today's decision also reminds us that the Trump administration's racist attempts to scapegoat immigrants are not based on the rule of law and will not prevail."

Sanchez vowed to fight for dreamers "until they have permanent relief and a pathway to citizenship. Washington needs to do the right thing and make the Dream and Promise Act the law of the land. To all the Dreamers, your home is here."

Trump blasted the court's action, calling the DACA decision and other recent rulings "shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or conservatives."

"The recent Supreme Court decisions, not only on DACA, sanctuary cities, Census and other, tell you only one thing, we need NEW JUSTICES of the Supreme Court," Trump wrote on Twitter. "If the radical Left Democrats assume power, your Second Amendment, right-to-life, secure borders and religious liberty, among many other things, are OVER and GONE.

"The DACA decision, while a highly political one, and seemingly not based on the law, gives the president of the United States far more power than EVER anticipated," he wrote. "Nevertheless, I will only act in the best interests of the United States of America! As president of the United States, I am asking for a legal solution on DACA, not a political one, consistent with the rule of law. The Supreme Court is not willing to give us one, so now we have to start this process all over again.''

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said there are about 85,000 DACA recipients in the county, and the court's ruling renews their "hopes and dreams."

"It reminds us once again of the importance of the checks and balances that have guided our Democracy, especially in the face of an administration that has continually attacked a community that is so vital to every facet of our country,'' Ridley-Thomas said. "... However, even with today's positive news, we must not let our guard down.

"Now, more than ever, we must be resolved to keep fighting on behalf of our immigrant communities and those who have relied on DACA for their livelihood and peace of mind. The contributions DACA recipients are making to our nation and county are immeasurable. The economic and human stakes are too high -- they deserve and will have our continued support."

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner said he was "relieved and thankful" at the ruling.

"It is the right outcome for so many families and their teachers who have been living under a cloud of uncertainty," Beutner said. "However, we must continue to press for a permanent legislative solution and comprehensive immigration reform from Congress."

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