We are relieved that on Thursday, June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could not immediately shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. By a narrow majority, Justices found that the rescission of DACA in 2017 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was "arbitrary and capricious" and lacked sufficient rationale.
The struggle, unfortunately, is unlikely to be over. We concur with Sonia Sotomayor’s opinion, in calling for respondents to further develop their equal protection claims on remand and attack the program’s cancellation on constitutional grounds. She finds the rescission was “‘contaminated by impermissible discriminatory animus’” evident by comments President Trump made during-and-after the campaign trail about undocumented immigrants, Mexicans, and Latinos. She further writes that the decision by “the plurality [of the justices] minimizes the disproportionate impact of the rescission on Latinos.”
DACA is a program instituted by DHS in 2012 that calls for the deferred action or protection from removal for youth that meet certain criteria for a period of two years, subject to renewal. Since then, DACA has impacted approximately 800,000 persons, by providing pathways to jobs, educational opportunities, and other benefits that have improved lives and the economy. Over 90 percent of DACA recipients are Latinx, and approximately 80 percent are from Mexico.
We hope that after this ruling our political leaders would listen to the vast majority of Americans (74 percent) who support legal status for Dreamers. As children raised and educated in the U.S. Dreamers are full-fledged members of the fabric of America. It is time to fully acknowledge their talent, effort, and commitment. Bringing stability to Dreamers' lives will bring us back to the tradition of a nation of immigrants and in doing so benefit all of us.
For more information on how this ruling affects DACA recipients or eligible persons, please see:
Here is a copy of the full decision: DACA-Decision.pdf