Statement On Supreme Court Decision on DACA
WASHINGTON—On Thursday, June 18th the Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS) ruled that Trump cannot immediately end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The 5-4 decision was decided by Chief Justice Roberts and backed by Justices Ginsburg, Kagan, Breyer, and Sotomayor. While quantitative data is not collected in ways that allow us to have informed conversations about Black queer people we know that of the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in America, between 600,000 – 800,000 of them are Black.
Black immigrants are disproportionately impacted by xenophobic targeting connected to immigration. Black immigrants make up only 7.2% of the noncitizen population in the U.S., but make up 20.3% of immigrants facing deportation before the Executive Office for Immigration review on criminal grounds.
The DACA program was created under the Obama administration to protect children brought to the United States from deportation and allow them to work. The current administration decided to roll back the program in 2017, weakening legal protections for Dreamers and fracturing communities throughout the country.
In response to the decision, National Black Justice Coalition Executive Director David J. Johns released the following statement:
“Too often, conversations about U.S. immigration reform leave out Black immigrants and Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) immigrants. As we continue to have important conversations about immigration reform in the U.S. it’s important to ensure that we account for diversity that has always existed within our communities.
“The SCOTUS decision is important because it impacts the lives of Black LGBTQ/SGL people who are also undocumented. Without DACA protections members of our community who already face the twin challenges of racism and homophobia (and transphobia and bi-phobia) are also saddled with the additional burden of xenophobia in the form of hateful policies that run counter to the founding principles of an American dream that belongs to those willing to work hard and contribute to the community and the country.
“As people continue to risk their lives to protest against state-sanctioned violence in the form of police officers who do not value all Black Lives it is important for us to remember the relationship between police officers that patrol communities and those who patrol borders.
“The SCOTUS declaration is an important step toward developing and codifying laws that are needed to respond to current immigration opportunities and challenges. We must also remember that we should not need to enforce laws so that people’s humanity is honored in the first place.
“Those seeking to leverage their power politically can call their federal elected officials and request support for the American Dream and Promise Act, which seeks to ensure the lives of Black LGBTQ immigrants matter too —and not just in this moment when #BlackLivesMatter is trending but well after non-Black LGBTQ immigrants move on.”