Supreme Court rejects Trump administration challenge to DACA

Supporters of the DACA program rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in November 2019. (Photo by Robin Bravender/States Newsroom)
Ivanna de Coss is a Dreamer who came to Des Moines from Mexico when she was 7 years old. Now 22, she’s the main breadwinner for her family. (Photo courtesy of Ivanna de Coss)

The ruling was a relief for Ivanna de Coss, who said she came to Des Moines from Oaxaca, Mexico, when she was 7 years old, along with three cousins. She’s had a DACA permit since 2012 but it expires early next year.

“Prior to the news I got today, I was worried. This is something that’s always in the back of my head because we don’t really know what’s going to happen,” de Coss said.

Now 22, she has a good job at a major financial services company in Des Moines and is her family’s primary breadwinner.

“I wouldn’t know what to do without being here legally,” she said. “I wouldn’t know where to work and we wouldn’t be able to live in the conditions we do now.”

She said while the ruling is a victory for people like her, “I’d like to see something done for all of us.”

Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-1st District, said in a statement: “Dreamers live in and contribute to communities throughout Northeast Iowa — they are students, employees and military service members. They are Iowans. The Supreme Court’s decision today is a positive step toward easing the uncertainty and anxiety they face, and underscores the need for bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform.”

Rep. Cindy Axne, D-3rd District, tweeted about the ruling that the Supreme Court “rightly blocked the end of this critical program. It is time for the Senate to pass the #DreamAct to provide #Dreamers with permanent protection.”

Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst have signed on to legislation that would allow DACA recipients to “earn” naturalization through criteria such as earning a high-school diploma and working full-time or serving in the military or pursuing a postsecondary or vocational degree. The recipients would have to sign a “conditional departure order” that could be enforced for criminal behavior or failure to meet the other eligibility criteria.

“I’ve always been in favor of protecting the status of DACA recipients and showing compassion towards undocumented children that were brought here through no fault of their own,” Ernst said in a statement. “This decision further underscores the need to fix our broken immigration system.”

The ruling also drew cheers from liberal lawmakers and advocates across the country.