GOP, Dems Claim Victory As DACA Back In Spotlight Before Midterm Elections

A court ruling directing the White House to fully reinstate DACA has thrust the issue back into the spotlight just ahead of the midterm elections. And for now, both sides are claiming political victory.

Friday’s ruling requires the Trump administration to restart the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which allows immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children to apply for legal status to work, go to school or join the military — including accepting new applications.

Previous rulings have protected those who already enrolled in DACA, but Friday’s decision by Washington-based U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, a George W. Bush appointee, went further.

DACA has largely dropped from the headlines since the failed effort by Congress to pass a law protecting “Dreamers” brought here as children in exchange for funding for a southern border wall and other Republican-backed measures after the White House walked away from the deal.

But Republicans see the ruling — and the legal challenge that will ensue in its wake — as a political boon. It falls within their political playbook of pushing to end DACA, boost border security and take a hard line on immigration policy, and is key to their hopes to hold onto control of Congress after November’s elections.

The ruling reinstating DACA “might be a blessing in disguise,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “The best issue to turn out Republican voters is the issue of immigration, and especially the issue of illegal immigration.”

Read more from Kimberly Atkins at the Boston Herald

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