WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA, was illegally rescinded by the Trump Administration.
The court rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants, a stunning rebuke to the president in the midst of his reelection campaign.
The outcome seems certain to elevate the issue in Trump’s campaign, given the anti-immigrant rhetoric of his first presidential run in 2016 and immigration restrictions his administration has imposed since then.
The justices, in a 5-4 vote, rejected administration arguments that the 8-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program is illegal and that courts have no role to play in reviewing the decision to end DACA.
The court ruled the termination of DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act (AP) by failing to adequately address the important factors bearing on the decision.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court that the administration did not pursue the end of the program properly.
“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,“ Roberts wrote. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action. 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.”
The Department of Homeland Security can try again, he wrote.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown released the statement after the ruling was announced. It said, in part:
“Today the U.S. Supreme Court took significant action to protect dreamers all across our nation. Dreamers, brought to the United States as children, embody the American dream. While the Supreme Court kept DACA in place for now, the president may still try to end the program. Oregon’s 12,000 valued Dreamers serve in our military, work in our hospitals, pay taxes, and make our communities stronger.
“Oregon will always be a welcoming, safe place for all. Our 33-year-old Sanctuary Law prevents Oregon from enforcing federal immigration law, and I will uphold this law and stand with Oregonian Dreamers. We are at our best when we focus on what we share in common, not what divides us.”
Brown called on the federal government to let this decision stand and cease what she referred to as “relentless attacks on our immigrant communities.”
“We can celebrate this historic victory and still recognize we have work to do to ensure every Oregonian can live free from bigotry and hatred because of their immigration status or the color of their skin.”
President Barack Obama announced DACA in 2012. Commonly known as “Dreamers” after the failed legislation that would have provided a path to citizenship, these immigrants have been in the U.S. since they were children.
Recipients went through extensive background screening to get two-year work permits and protection from deportation.
The Trump administration in 2017 announced the end of the program, resulting in legal challenges. Those already enrolled still have protections and can renew their two-year permits, but no one new can join.
The Associated Press and KOIN 6 News contributed to this report.