Why the Dreamers won
The Supreme Court for over 230 years has carried out the conservative goals of its creators. It has protected private property — including the “ownership” of human beings — and minimized the right of the poor to associate for united struggle. Currently, SCOTUS consists of a majority of conservative and reactionary judges, plus a few exceptions.
Thus, many people were stunned that on June 18 this right-wing court stopped the Trump administration — at least temporarily — from deporting the “Dreamers.” These Dreamers are the children of migrants who crossed U.S. borders with their parents when neither had official legal permission to live and work in the U.S.
An Obama-era program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — had given the children the right to remain here. Trump rescinded DACA. “Dreamers” refers to the earlier DREAM Act, never passed, that would have protected 2 million undocumented youth from deportation.
The vast majority of the Dreamers’ parents have supplied their labor — often for low wages — in the most essential sectors of the economy — farming, construction, hotel and restaurant, plus hospital and other service work, including child care. Their children, the Dreamers, overcame poverty and language “disadvantages” (being forced to learn English) to finish school or other training.
It takes a particularly vicious politician to stoop to blaming immigrants for economic problems in the U.S. It takes a xenophobic criminal like Trump to use the immigrants’ children as a scapegoat to mobilize his own racist base.
Both the Dreamers and their parents deserve the right to stay in the U.S. and work, if they so choose. And they should have the right to all the benefits that workers have won here — including Social Security, unemployment compensation, medical care, etc. Equal pay and benefits inevitably would aid all labor.
The SCOTUS decision — which allows the Trump administration an opening to revise its anti-immigrant tactics — was nevertheless a victory, a small step forward, important for the Dreamers.
The DACA movement itself and its supporters deserve credit for carrying out the struggle over the last few years to defend the Dreamers’ interests. This includes their campaign to abolish the immigration cop gang–aka Immigration and Customs Enforcement — and to close down ICE concentration camps holding migrants and spreading COVID-19.
However, it is important to understand why even reactionary SCOTUS justices voted against Trump.
Over the past month a Black Lives Matter movement has arisen 100 times stronger than before, impacting every social event. The Dreamers have been in solidarity with BLM and vice versa. This new powerful movement has swept monuments from the streets and cop shows from the airwaves. It has raised anti-racist literature to the top of the best-seller lists and put the existence of police on the list of points for debate.
SCOTUS must have had this in mind as it made its decision – along with the decision earlier in the week that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ2S+ workers from job discrimination.
While none of the victories has yet been made permanent, the wave of unprecedented global struggle is already something that even reactionary Supreme Court justices would like to avoid drowning under.