October 06, 2020

Feinstein: Conservative Supreme Court Could Radically Change Immigration Policy

Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on what’s at stake for immigration policy if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court:

            “President Trump has consistently tried to implement his anti-immigrant policies by executive order, from his abrupt termination of DACA to his attempted inclusion of a citizenship question on the census. But time and again, these orders have ended up before the Supreme Court where often a single vote has decided whether these harmful policies are struck down or are allowed to take effect.

            “One more conservative vote in place of Justice Ginsburg’s would have ended DACA and the protections of more than 700,000 people enrolled in the program. One more conservative vote would have allowed the inclusion of a citizenship question on the census that would have intimidated immigrant communities and minimized the share of federal funds they receive.

            “These cases may come back before the court, as could others such as the ‘public charge’ rule that would allow officials to block legal residents from permanent status if they’ve received government assistance.

            “Confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett would tilt the scales in support of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies. Don’t take my word for it. Judge Barrett has repeatedly sided with administration policies in her brief three year stint on the 7th Circuit, including on the ‘public charge’ rule itself.

            “These policies strike at the heart of our country’s immigrant heritage and would reject the welcome we’ve extended to the ‘huddled masses yearning to be free’ for centuries. Barely a month before the most consequential election in memory, this nomination could and should wait until the American people have had a say in what this country will become.”

Background:

  • A clear majority of Americans, 74 percent according to a June Pew survey, support permanent legal status for people covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly referred to as DACA. This is true across party lines with 91 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of Republicans supporting legal status.
  • In June 2020, the Supreme Court overturned President Trump’s executive order to end DACA in a 5-4 vote. One more conservative justice in place of a liberal one would likely have taken away protections for more than 700,000 DACA recipients.
  • Judge Barrett has repeatedly sided with the Trump administration on immigration cases while serving on the 7th Circuit.
  • Barrett voted in support of the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule that bars immigrants from receiving legal permanent residence if they received public benefits.
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