The program lives for now, but questions remain on how program will operate and how Trump will react.
The Supreme Court today threw a temporary lifeline to young immigrants who have been swimming against the current of immigration restrictionist policies issued by President Donald Trump over the past three and a half years.
But big questions remain. Will Trump again try to end the program that is popular with an overwhelming majority of Americans just months before he is up for re-election? And will Congress ever provide a pathway to legal status for these immigrants?
There’s also a pending legal challenge in Texas that could yet play a role in deciding the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, and questions about whether the program should immediately resume because of the High Court’s ruling.
The court ruled Thursday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields some unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation and grants them renewable two-year work permits, can remain in place because the way the Trump administration tried to end it in September 2017 was unlawful.
Chief Justice John Roberts, in writing the majority opinion, pointed to the fact that the court was not weighing in on whether DACA itself is legal or not.
Instead, the court focused on how the Trump administration violated the Administrative Procedures Act, which governs the rulemaking process, and that its reasoning for ending the program was not sufficient.
“The appropriate recourse is therefore to remand to [Department of Homeland Security] so that it may consider the problem anew,” Roberts wrote.
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But Joseph Sellers, a civil rights attorney who represented the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in one of the DACA lawsuits decided by the court today, said that the Supreme Court’s ruling makes clear that the program should be fully reinstated.
“The rescission is void and restores the program to where it was before they tried to end it,” Sellers said. “There’s no legal reason now why the administration shouldn’t be accepting new applications.”
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