Now that the Supreme Court has completed oral arguments over the Trump administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, all eyes will turn toward the court’s springtime decision that will insert the emotional issue directly into the 2020 presidential campaign.
If the justices rule that the Trump administration wrongly terminated the program, then the roughly 700,000 DACA recipients, sometimes referred to as “DREAMers” who have been protected from deportation and granted work permits will be able to continue their American lives for a while longer.
But if the court sides with the Trump administration and allows it to end the program, it will set up a high-stakes, politically-wrought decision for the Trump administration just months before the November election.
If the administration immediately terminates the program at that moment, it runs the risk of angering voters sympathetic to DREAMers, who make up significant portions of the electorate in swing states like Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
If the administration decides to delay any action until after the election, it runs the risk of angering Trump’s core supporters who were promised the program, which they decry as “amnesty,” would be shut down under his watch.