The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision today on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, rejecting President Donald Trump’s quest to end the program for young immigrants.
Led by Chief Justice John Roberts in a 5-4 decision, the High Court ruled that the Trump Administration did not properly end the program, according to the Associated Press. NPR reported that Roberts wrote that their handling of the matter was “arbitrary” and “capricious.”
The ruling means more than 650,000 immigrants–often called DREAMers–are protected from deportation and can work in the U.S.–at least for now. Created by former President Barack Obama in June 2012 via executive order, DACA enabled certain undocumented immigrants who’d arrived in America before their 16th birthdays, to receive work permits and exemption from deportation for two years. As Essence has reported, before he won the presidency in 2016, Donald Trump vowed on the campaign trail to get rid of DACA. In September 2017, then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Administration would phase out the program. While rescinding the policy didn’t end DACA immediately, the Department of Homeland Security officials said they would no longer accept new applications and sought to place restrictions on renewals.
Black and Latino immigration advocacy groups such as the UndocuBlack Network, Black Immigrant Collective and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, to name a few, have protested and spoken out.
While several states did not support DACA and sued to block the program, civil rights organizations such as the NAACP, the ACLU and others also filed suit against the Trump Administration. ”The decision by the Supreme Court to block the Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA and rule in our favor provides a glimmer of hope for so many in this country,” said NAACP president and CEO, Derrick Johnson. “An attack against any immigrant community should be viewed as an attack on us all. Protecting the sanctity of this nation starts by protecting the most vulnerable and we believe that was achieved today.”
The Leadership Conference joined the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Anti-Defamation League, and more than 40 other social justice organizations in a “friend of the court” brief in this case.
“There is much work yet to do, but these amazing human beings who were brought here without any say have been contributing to our nation in immeasurable ways,” adds Moe Vela, an attorney and former Senior Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden on Latino Affairs. “Our independent Judiciary has determined that you belong here as much as anyone else.”
The Denver Post reports that the SCOTUS decision sends the DACA issue back to Homeland Security, which gives the Trump Administration another shot at terminating the program.