Dolores Huerta reacts to judge’s rebuke of Trump’s DACA cancellation

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Dolores Huerta mural in Los Angeles by Yreina Cervántez. Photo by La Ofrenda - T. Murphy on Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Dolores Huerta won the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her life of organizing workers, especially migrant farmworkers. With Cesar Chavez she co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers.

Huerta will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg in Fox Hall.

WMNF began our interview by asking Dolores Huerta about this week’s ruling by a federal judge against the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program protecting some young immigrants from deportation.

“Well, number one, I’m very grateful for the judge’s decision and we hope that it will stand. I know that there have been other similar decisions by other judges. I think this one goes a little bit further because it also says that DACA students can continue to apply. We know right now that a lot of the DACA students are not applying, just out of fear. And hopefully, because there are other judges that have made similar decisions, that this decision will stand. And we also know that the Supreme Court has not taken up the decisions when they’ve tried to appeal them. So maybe this will bring some sense to people and just prevent all of this fear that the students are now living in — all the DACA students face this terrible threat of deportation.”

People may best know you from your work with the United Farm Workers as a co-organizer with Cesar Chavez and also the grape boycott that you organized in 1965 that led to a collective bargaining agreement with the farm owners. Why do you think that actions like boycott — why does that work?

“Well, it works when you have millions of people that support. I think at the end of the grape boycott we had something like 17 million people that refused to eat grapes — refused to buy grapes. That meant that the grape growers had to come to the negotiating table, agreed to give farmworkers toilets in the fields, cold drinking water, rest periods, the right to organize. Subsequently we were able to get unemployment insurance for the farmworkers in California also. Which, by the way, most of the states do not have, even today.”

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Here’s information from the Associated Press on the DACA decision:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge ruled Tuesday against the Trump administration’s decision to end a program protecting some young immigrants from deportation, calling the Department of Homeland Security’s rationale against the program “arbitrary and capricious.”

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates in Washington wrote that the decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, “was unlawful and must be set aside.”

Bates wrote that DHS’ decision “was predicated primarily on its legal judgment that the program was unlawful. That legal judgment was virtually unexplained, however, and so it cannot support the agency’s decision.”

Bates gave DHS 90 days to “better explain its view that DACA is unlawful.” If the department cannot come up with a better explanation, he wrote, it “must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications.”

DACA allowed immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, known as Dreamers, to stay and work legally under renewable permits. President Donald Trump announced last year that he would end the program started by President Barack Obama. It was officially rescinded in March, but DHS is continuing to issue renewals because of previous court orders.

Bates’ ruling Tuesday night comes in a pair of cases whose lead plaintiffs are the NAACP and Princeton University. He is the third judge to rule against administration plans to end the program.

from AP: Apr 24, 2018 10:43PM

 

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