daca, court, supreme
A protester chants slogans on a megaphone near a Here to Stay banner during a rally in favor of DACA at the Supreme Court upon its ruling against President Trump's attempts to end it. (Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)

Supreme Court Blocks Trump’s Attempt to End DACA

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration could not immediately proceed with its plan to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA, an Obama-era program, protects 700,000 young immigrants in the U.S. from deportation.

These young immigrants, referred to as Dreamers, came without documentation under their parents’ care. The program allows these people access to a renewable two-year period deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit in the U.S. The Supreme Court’s ruling is a blow to one of President Trump’s campaign promises: to “immediately terminate” Obama’s executive order, which he has said is illegal.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts wrote the majority opinion, being the one conservative vote that joined the four more liberal justices to tip the scale in favor of DACA.

“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts wrote in the court’s opinion. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.”

In September 2017, Trump announced he’d be winding down the DACA program because Obama’s decision to create it was beyond the legal power a president should have. Even among his aides, Trump’s decision to end the program was controversial, according to the New York Times.

In the Court’s opinion, Roberts stated that Trump’s reason for ending the program was not sufficient, but that if his administration could provide better reasons for ending it, he may try again.

This decision is the second formative decision the Court made this week. On Monday, Roberts was also in the majority in a decision that ruled transgender and homosexual individuals are protected from workplace discrimination on the basis of sex as written in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Related Story: In Landmark Case, Supreme Court Declares Federal Law Protects LGBTQ+ Individuals From Job Discrimination

In the dissent, the three remaining conservative justices Samuel A. Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch said the majority’s decision was driven by sympathy and political opinions rather than interpretation of the law. The dissenting justices also argued that the majority’s decision would set a precedent that would involve the Supreme Court in political battles.

“Today’s decision must be recognized for what it is: an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision,” Thomas, who wrote the dissent, said. “The court could have made clear that the solution respondents seek must come from the legislative branch. In doing so, it has given the green light for future political battles to be fought in this court rather than where they rightfully belong — the political branches.”

This decision would mean in order to move forward with ending DACA, the Trump administration would have to defer to a lower court and provide more robust reasons for ending the program. That process alone would take months, delaying any real moves until after the November 2020 election. If the administration were able to move forward with ending DACA, it would have planned to locate 700,000 Dreamers and deport them to countries they may not even remember.

Trump immediately took to Twitter to condemn the decision.

However, in the past, even his own words about DACA have been inconsistent.

In 2017, he posted on Twitter, “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..”

But last year, in another Twitter post, he stated that many Dreamers are no longer young and a “far from angels.”

“Some are very tough, hardened criminals,” he said.

Yet, the program’s requirements are designed to prevent young people with criminal records from enjoying the same protections as other Dreamers. To be eligible, applicants need to have not committed any serious crimes. They also have to have arrived in the U.S. before they were 16 and be no older than 30, lived in the country for a minimum of five years and prove they graduated from high school, had G.E.D.s or were honorably discharged as veterans.

Dreamers and other supporters of DACA celebrated outside of the Supreme Court Thursday

United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led community in the country celebrated the decision in a press release, but also reminded supporters that the fight did not end there.

“This decision does not mean the Trump administration will not attempt to rescind the program again, and we need all our state and local elected officials to take action to protect DACA recipients in their communities. The fight will continue for a permanent solution that helps people without hurting people because home is here!” Arisaid Gonzalez Porras, DACA recipient and Georgetown University Student said in the release.

Latest News

The History of Women’s History Month

We celebrate Women’s History Month each March to honor the legacy, contributions and resilience of women and girls around the world, but a recognized time dedicated to celebrating women wasn’t formally added to the calendar until 1980. What originally became a national, monthlong celebration began as a locally celebrated women’s…

Golden Globes 2021: Historic Firsts Despite a Lack of Diversity in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Voting Body

The 78th Golden Globes on Feb. 28 was marred with controversy, with confounding nominations and a lack of diversity among the voting body in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. In the first-ever bi-coastal ceremony, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler lampooned HFPA’s diversity issues in the opening monologue. “Everybody is…

internet access for home schooling

FCC Approves $50 Monthly Internet Subsidies for Families with Financial Challenges

The Federal Communications Commission has approved a new broadband subsidy program designed to help families that have been struggling with the increased cost of internet access for schooling, work and other issues. According to Brian Fung of CNN Business, “The agency’s $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides eligible low-income…

We, As Ourselves initiative

Tarana Burke, Founder of #MeToo Movement, Starts New Initiative for Black Survivors

When activist Tarana Burke coined the #MeToo movement, she knew it would start a culture-shifting conversation about sexual violence. But three years after that movement began, she believes that change hasn’t been as far-reaching as she’d hoped, especially for Black women who’ve faced some aspect of sexual abuse or violence. …