The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the White House from rescinding on an Obama-era program designed to protect young immigrants from deportation.
President Trump tried to abolish the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2017, five years after it was created by former President Barack Obama. Under DACA, noncitizens brought to the country as children could apply for protection from deportation.
Thursday’s decision affects hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants, some of whom were working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic as they awaited this decision, according to The Washington Post
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal-leaning justices on the court in a 5-4 ruling finding that the decision to end DACA was “arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act.”
“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion, adding, “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.”
According to slate.com, those using the DACA program had been allowed to renew their status due to legal challenges that had kept the program running as the case worked its way to the Supreme Court. Thursday’s ruling stated that while the administration may have the power to rescind DACA, it didn’t follow correct procedures in doing so.
The administration can still fight to end the program, but after the Supreme Court ruling, it will be forced to head back to the lower courts. That means the fate of DACA is unlikely to be decided before the November election, although Trump said Thursday afternoon he is “asking for a legal solution” and “we have to start this process all over again.”
Soon after the ruling, Trump tweeted that the recent liberal victories in the Supreme Court were “shotgun blasts into the face” of Republicans.
“These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives. We need more Justices or we will lose our 2nd. Amendment & everything else. Vote Trump 2020!” he wrote on Twitter in response to the ruling, adding, “Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?”
Groups that supported DACA and the president who implemented it celebrated but noted the work that needed to be done in Congress to secure the protections going forward.
Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a resounding victory for Dreamers and a nod to our country’s immigrant heritage,” said the Latino Victory Project in a statement. “Dreamers strengthen our communities and economy, and they’re our neighbors, friends, colleagues and heroes in the Covid-19 frontlines. Now, the ball is on the Republican-led Senate’s court to pass the American Dream and Promise Act as a permanent solution to ensure that Dreamers can live full lives in the only country that they call home.”
“Eight years ago this week, we protected young people who were raised as part of our American family from deportation,” said Obama in a statement after the ruling. “Today, I’m happy for them, their families, and all of us. We may look different and come from everywhere, but what makes us American are our shared ideals and now to stand up for those ideals, we have to move forward and elect @Joe Biden and a Democratic Congress that does its job, protects DREAMers, and finally creates a system that’s truly worthy of this nation of immigrants once and for all.”