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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds DACA

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U.S Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion rejecting the Trump administration's termination of DACA. (Diego Gomez/Adobe Stock)
U.S Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion rejecting the Trump administration's termination of DACA. (Diego Gomez/Adobe Stock)
June 19, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the Trump administration from ending a program that protects almost 700,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived as children from deportation.

The five-to-four ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, says the Department of Homeland Security failed to give a reasoned explanation for its actions, and had not addressed the hardship it would bring to the Dreamers protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program.

According Andrea Flores, deputy director of immigration policy at the American Civil Liberties Union, many DACA recipients and their supporters had expected a different decision from the court.

"I couldn't be happier about this," says Flores. "And as an ally and as an advocate, I know the fight isn't over - but today, I will be celebrating."

The four conservative judges argued that DACA, which allows recipients go to school, work and get drivers' licenses, is illegal - and that no justification for terminating it should be required.

The majority opinion ruled against terminating DACA on procedural grounds, which leaves the door open for future action to end the program. It's a reminder, Flores says, that Congress needs to pass a longer-lasting solution.

"Any protections are temporary in nature because the only permanent protection for the undocumented community is a path to citizenship," says Flores.

The Obama administration created DACA in 2012 because Congress had not passed the Dream Act.

Flores points out that the American Dream and Promise Act, which lays out a path to citizenship, passed in the House last year. But the bill still has not been taken up by the Senate.

"So, this is an issue that's popular on both sides of the aisle," says Flores. "And we will be pushing to fight, and will not stop until a path to citizenship is signed into law."

Democrats in the Senate are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA