Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to end DACA
In a decision, hailed across the country as a victory by dreamers and immigrants, the Supreme Court held that President Trump's attempt to end the DACA program, did not comply with proper procedure. The import of this decision is that DACA, remains the law of the land, at least for now.
Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. led the court in ruling 5-4 that the Trump administration had failed to address important factors bearing on its decision to wind down the program and that failure violated the federal law known as the Administrative Procedure Act. Thus, the Supreme Court rejected President Donald Trump’s attempt to end the DACA program, handing a major victory to about 650,000 immigrants — most of whom who entered the U.S. illegally as children more than a decade ago.
The decision does not foreclose future moves to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but it seems unlikely the administration will be able to put in place a new framework to end DACA before November's presidential election.
Justice Roberts said the Trump official who ordered the wind-down in 2017, acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, erred by failing to consider whether it was possible to eliminate the work permits issued to DACA recipients without ending the limited protection they enjoy from deportation. He also said she didn’t give adequate thought to how important the program was to those with DACA status. This is an important precedent because it equates DACA status with a right, which under our system of law, once granted cannot be arbitrarily taken away.
This ruling was the second major defeat for the Trump administration at the Supreme Court this week. The justices issued an unexpected 6-3 decision that a more than half-century-old federal civil rights law forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Trump administration had urged the court to reach the opposite result.
A ruling upholding Trump's action would have set off a panic among many DACA recipients and would have led to intense pressure on moderate Republican senators to find some way to offer relief to the hundreds of thousands directly affected and their U.S. citizen family members.
Our New York immigration lawyers, who represent DACA recipients, believe that the high court decision averts that kind of a political scramble in the coming months but does not extinguish the future of the Dreamers as a political issue. Given the pathways the court's action leaves open to ending DACA in the future, it offers no long-term guarantee that the program will remain in place. Obviously, if Joe Biden wins the presidency, his policies would likely be more immigrant friendly, and would not only extend DACA, but will probably provide a path to citizenship for the dreamers, who are presently in DACA statuts. Our New York immigration attorneys believe that those who are in DACA status should be given a path to permanent residency, since they entered the United States as children, and obviously were powerless, to make the decision. Also, people who have been in the United States since children, do not know any other country, and it is against good judgment and common sense to consider these people to be foreignors when they have lived the majority of their lives in the United States.