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DACA community feels some relief after court decision, vows to keep fighting

The Supreme Court's decision to not hear a case on DACA may extend the program's March 5 deadline


DACA recipient Edder Martinez poses for a portrait on ASU's Tempe campus on Feb. 14, 2017. 

The U.S. Supreme Court made a decision Monday morning that may protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and allow renewals for the next several months. 

The Trump administration rescinded DACA in September, calling on Congress to find a long-term solution before the deadline of March 5. But six months and two government shutdowns have come and gone without Congress coming to a deal regarding the future of DACA recipients. 

After two lower courts blocked Trump's decision to end DACA, the case was set to be taken up by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California. The Trump administration instead asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, bypassing the 9th Circuit, which Trump has criticized.

But, the Supreme Court decided not to take up the case, forcing it to go through the appeals court before any further action is taken. Dave Wells, a politics professor at ASU, said the case will undergo "appropriate due process."

"The current decision of the lower courts will stand," Wells said. "This means people can still apply for the DACA program or renew their status."

Perla Martinez, a computer science freshman and DACA recipient, said she feels "really happy" after hearing the news.

"This is really good news for the people whose permits are about to expire," Martinez said. "They can renew again."

Martinez said she had doubts Congress would come up with a solution before the March 5 deadline after six months of inaction. 

"I think this position kinda gave Dreamers a breather ... we are fine for now," Martinez said.

Edder Diaz Martinez, a journalism senior and DACA recipient, said although he considers the court decision a "positive result", he isn't going to stop advocating for the Dream Act

"Politicians will continue pushing the can down the road and we'll be stuck here in a year or two years," Martinez said. "It's still uncertain without any permanent protection."

Without the permanent protection that would be afforded by the Dream Act, Martinez says the DACA community is "in limbo".

"That's just what it is," he said. "Without anything permanent, this is just up in the air like it always is."

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