Supreme Court Rules in favor of DACA, for a big win for ‘Dreamers’

Thursday morning, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This immigration program allows certain minor immigrants to stay in the US, avoiding deportation, go to school and receive work permits. At the height of the program, there were nearly 800,000 “Dreamers” and about 650,000 when the Trump administration ordered the program to end in September 2017.

The 5-4 decision was written by Chief Justice John Roberts who said the Trump administration’s efforts to end the DACA program were “arbitrary and capricious.”

“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 complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action,” Roberts wrote. “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.”

According to a government study, more than 90% of DACA recipients are employed and 45% are in school. Immigration lawyers advocating for the DACA program noted that nearly 30,000 DACA recipients work in healthcare, and they were essential in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus.

In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center last week, nearly 10,000 American adults were asked whether they would support giving permanent legal status to Dreamers, and 74% said they were in favor of the idea.