Columbus DREAMer: 'We're Going To Keep Doing The Work'
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked President Trump’s attempt to rescind DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era policy that protects some immigrants without documentation from deportation if they were brought here as children.
The ruling was good news for thousands of DREAMers across America and here in Central Ohio, like Zakaria Farah.
Farah was one of the few members of the public who made it into the courtroom for oral arguments. He says he's elated by the decision, even as he looks to the future.
"It's always one step forward, two steps back in this fight, but that doesn't mean that we're willing to stop fighting," Farah says.
Farah was not directly affected by the case, because he had already applied and received his DACA status, which has been renewed consistently since. His bigger concern were for those immigrants not yet in the program, who had their applications stalled while the case got caught up in the courts.
"New applicants were not allowed," he says. "So anyone who was turning 18 and met every other criteria but had never applied before was unable to do so."
Now Farah's focus turns to education within the community.
"We obviously have to make sure that this decision is well understood within our community, disseminating that information, making sure that the people who can apply do apply," he says.
The ultimate goal, however, is bigger than that: making DACA irrelevant.
"We're going to continue doing the work. We had a lot of faith in the Supreme Court, and we knew they would make the right decision today," Farah says. "And we have a lot of faith in our elected officials and we know they're going to make the right decision when it comes to comprehensive immigration reform that would render the conversation about DACA moot."
After the Supreme Court, advocates called on Congress to pass an immigration deal to permanently protect DREAMers, although President Trump has yet to support such a plan.
Recent public opinion polls show that DACA enjoys widespread support among Democrats, independents and Republicans.