SCOTUS Throws Wrench Into DACA

SCOTUS Throws Wrench Into DACA

( – For now, a notorious Obama-era program has been spared the ax after the Supreme Court ruled against President Trump’s decision to end it. The Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been a target for the administration as part of its efforts to reduce illegal immigration, but a surprise legal decision spared it – for now.


A close-run Supreme Court decision Thursday shut down President Trump’s attempt to close down the DACA program.

  • DACA was introduced by the Obama administration on June 15, 2012, as an executive branch memorandum. It allows some people who entered the US illegally as children to obtain a renewable two-year deferral from deportation and makes them eligible for a work permit.
  • Since DACA was introduced, over 750,000 people have been given immigration deferrals under the program, and there’s been a significant increase in the number of unaccompanied minors coming from Latin America to the US.
  • In September 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the program was being rescinded. Reactions were mixed, with Democrats and some centrist Republicans condemning the move.
  • Several legal challenges were mounted, including one by 15 states and DC. Six DACA beneficiaries from San Francisco also filed suits, as did the University of California (which has more than 4,000 illegals in its student body).
  • The Supreme Court heard the case on June 18, 2020, and in a 5-4 judgment ruled that the decision to rescind DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which defines how federal agencies should make rules.
  • The justices split largely along partisan lines, with the four liberal members upholding the legal challenges and the conservatives opposing. However, Chief Justice John Roberts cast his vote with the liberals. His ruling was that the decision was “arbitrary and capricious.”
  • Roberts’s written opinion explained that the Department of Homeland Security had not followed the correct procedures in rescinding DACA. He made it clear that the judgment didn’t relate to the legal soundness of either DACA or its removal.

President Trump quickly made his opinion known, criticizing the Supreme Court for the latest in a series of politically motivated decisions. Calling them “shotgun blasts” at Republicans and Conservatives, he suggested that more laws and rights – even possibly including the Second Amendment – could be in danger if he isn’t elected for a second term and given the chance to appoint more justices.

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