Supreme Court Rules Against Ending DACA Program

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created in 2012 to provide temporary protection from deportation to qualified individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children. Known as “Dreamers,” these individuals could work legally and apply for college loans if they met certain requirements and passed a background check. However, when President Trump came into office, he argued that former President Obama did not have the authority to implement the program and it was unconstitutional, calling for an end to it. After years of lawsuits and contemplating if President Trump had the authority to reverse the program, the Supreme Court issued their final ruling to protect the DACA program.

The ruling was 5-4 with the opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. In doing so, Roberts reasoned that the Trump administration’s efforts to terminate the program was considered “arbitrary and capricious” under the Administrative Procedure Act as well as in violation of federal law. He stated, “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.”

It is important to understand that this ruling is not permanent. While the ruling will allow 650,000 young immigrants to continue renewing their membership in the program to receive work authorization and protection from deportation, it is only temporary. The Supreme Court’s decision did not state the Trump administration does not have the authority to terminate DACA, only that the administration’s reasoning for ending the program did not have legal standing. It is possible that they could move forward with rescinding the program, but the administration would have to provide a legal explanation for its termination.

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