For now, DACA remains the rule of the land.
The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday to block the Trump administration’s attempts to deport persons protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. The court ruled 5-4 in favor of the decision, with Justice Roberts siding with the four liberal judges.
This is the second time this week that the Court has ruled against policies proposed by the current administration. On Monday, the Court ruled that federal laws providing protections against sexual discrimination be extended to LGBTQ+ persons.
This current ruling, however, has left the door open for future action by the Trump administration to end DACA, according to CNN. The report cites Roberts’s majority opinion, which states, “We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies. ‘The wisdom’ of those decisions ‘is none of our concern.’ We address only whether the agency compiled with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.”
Theoretically, with a stronger explanation, the administration could still terminate the program, thereby endangering the recipients currently protected.
Around 650,000 undocumented immigrants are protected by DACA. The act was created in 2012 under the Obama administration to protect undocumented immigrants who’d arrived in the United States are children (the “Dreamers”). Although it does not provide them with a direct path to citizenship, DACA allows Dreamers two-year renewable temporary status that would not only protect them from deportation, but would also allow them access to employment, drivers’ licences, and other benefits.
The administration moved to end the program in 2017. The move was part of the administration’s larger efforts to limit immigration.
“The inherent argument from the Trump White House seemed to be that a president – or at least this president – can do whatever he wants on immigration so long as the end result is keeping people out,” Elise Foley of the Huffington Post reported this morning.
Foley also reports that protection of the Dreamers would not be guaranteed by the administration if DACA were ended, citing testimony from ICE acting director, Matthew Albence, who stated in January that the agency would move against reopened cases.