Friday, September 18, 2020

Supreme Court blocks Trump Administration’s effort to end DACA

(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Today the Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to dismantle the program protecting undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, a reprieve for nearly 650,000 recipients known as DREAMers.

The 5 to 4 decision was written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and joined by the court’s four liberals. It was the second defeat this week for the Trump administration, as the Supreme Court begins to unveil its decision in marquee cases.

It will likely elevate the issue of immigration in the presidential campaign. Although public opinion polls have shown sympathy for DACA recipients, Congress repeatedly has failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

President Trump responded to the decision by tweeting his displeasure and turning it into a call for his reelection, with a specific focus on gun-rights supporters: “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!”

The administration has tried for more than two years to “wind down” DACA, but as lower courts had found, Roberts said the administration did not follow procedures required by law. “We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts wrote. “We address only whether the [Department of Homeland Security] complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action. Here the agency failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients. That dual failure raises doubts about whether the agency appreciated the scope of its discretion or exercised that discretion in a reasonable manner” he added.

The court’s four most conservative justices dissented. Justice Clarence Thomas said the program was illegal, and that the court should have recognized that rather than extending the legal fight. “Today’s decision must be recognized for what it is: an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision,” Thomas wrote.

 Obama responded as well: “Eight years ago this week, we protected young people who were raised as part of our American family from deportation. 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”. While the program does not provide a direct path to citizenship, it provides a temporary status that shields them from deportation and allows them to work.

WASHINGTON POST