Read Bennet's Statement in Spanish HERE
Washington, D.C. — Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California to rule against President Donald Trump’s repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):
“The Supreme Court’s ruling against the Trump Administration’s repeal of DACA will protect the legal status of nearly 750,000 young adults.
“Dreamers came here as children and have known no country but America. They grew up in our neighborhoods, played on our sports teams, and served on our student governments. They showed up to school, found jobs, and pay taxes. They are woven into the American fabric.
“In 2012, Dreamers came forward at the request of our government to seek legal protection from deportation. They put their faith in us to keep our word and protect them and their families. President Trump betrayed that trust and tainted the character of our nation.
“Today, the Supreme Court rebuked his betrayal. And now Congress must keep the government’s promise to Dreamers and pass the bipartisan American Dream and Promise Act to give DACA recipients a path to citizenship.
“We also, once again, must refocus on the urgency of comprehensive immigration reform. As a member of the Gang of Eight, I know it is possible to put forward bipartisan legislation with a broad coalition of support—from immigrant advocates to agricultural producers. Using the Gang of Eight framework, we could protect Dreamers, secure our borders with 21st century technology, support seasonal workers and business owners, and create a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.
“Today’s decision is a step in the right direction, but we have more work to do to fulfill the promise of American citizenship to those who seek and deserve the benefits of it.”
Since joining the Senate more than a decade ago, Bennet has championed efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Since cosponsoring the Dream Act in 2009, Bennet has supported offering a path to citizenship for individuals who were brought to the United States as children. When Congress failed to pass the Dream Act, Bennet urged then-President Barack Obama to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Throughout Obama’s presidency, Bennet fought for DACA, signing an amicus brief in support of Obama’s executive action to expand DACA in December of 2015, and signing an amicus brief in support of Obama’s executive actions in the United States v. Texas case in 2016, which at the time blocked implementation of the president's expansion of DACA.
As a member of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” Bennet drafted the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Act of 2013. The legislation earned an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the Senate with 68 votes, but was not brought up for a vote in the House. The Gang of Eight bill would have modernized our visa system for legal immigrants and given 11 million undocumented immigrants a fair path to earn American citizenship. His work on the bill was informed by a Colorado-wide conversation on immigration he led that produced a set of principles called the Colorado Compact.
In 2017, Bennet called on President Donald Trump to use his executive authority to protect DACA students. When Trump announced he would terminate DACA, Bennet demanded Congress work together to find a legislative solution on the Senate floor. That same year, Bennet co-sponsored the Dream Act of 2017 to offer Dreamers a pathway to earned citizenship and called for an extension of the DACA renewal deadline in the wake of three massive hurricanes that disrupted the lives of millions of Americans.
From November 2017 through February 2018, Bennet worked with a bipartisan group of senators, dubbed the “Gang of Six,” to draft legislation to protect DACA recipients as an addition to the FY18 omnibus legislation. In 2018, following court injunctions keeping DACA in place, Bennet pushed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expedite the processing of DACA renewal applications.
In 2019, after the Supreme Court announced it would take up the question of the legality of Trump’s repeal of DACA, Bennet joined 172 current and former members of Congress in filing a bipartisan amicus brief in the Supreme Court in support of DACA. On the first day of oral arguments, Bennet reiterated his call for Congress to work together to find a legislative solution to protect Dreamers, and urged the Supreme Court to uphold the rulings of lower courts across the country that found the president violated U.S. law when he ended DACA.
Earlier this year, Bennet joined over 100 of his Congressional colleagues in pressing the Trump Administration on reports that DHS was preparing mass deportations of DACA recipients.
Since the beginning of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Bennet has prioritized supporting DACA recipients, requesting future COVID-19 relief legislation overturn the Department of Education’s guidance on undocumented and DACA students, and include automatic extensions of work reauthorization for DACA and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients. He pressed Trump to take executive action to extend work authorizations for DACA recipients, and led a group of his Senate colleagues in calling on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to allow DACA students to access emergency financial aid grant funding secured in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.