WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration’s attempt to end the DACA program on Thursday.
The program was started by President Obama to help undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by family members at a young age and grew up here. The decision impacts about 700,000 people across the country.
Politico reported that Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the liberal wing in a decision that found the administration’s move to wind down the program lacked a sound legal basis.
The political news website said the decision does not stop future moves to end the program, but it wasn’t likely the administration would be able to make another attempt before the election in November.
According to Politico, Roberts said the official who ordered the wind-down in 2017, acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, erred by failing to consider whether it was possible to eliminate the work permits issued to DACA recipients without ending the limited protection they enjoy from deportation. He also said she didn’t give adequate thought to how important the program was to those with DACA status.
“Today is a victory for hundreds of thousands of Dreamers across the country, including many in Joliet, Aurora, Bolingbrook, and Naperville who make our communities better and have known no other home but the United States,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Naperville) in a statement. “The Trump administration’s cruel attempt to target these patriotic young people was beneath the values of our nation, and the Supreme Court rightly rejected it.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold DACA is a historic victory that shows the true heart of our country and furthers the vision of our founders” said U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield). “Today, I am given new hope that the United States will again be the beacon of democratic values other nations aspire to. For the 6,000 Dreamers in our district and the 700,000 across the country, home is here.”
“Dreamers protected by DACA own small businesses, teach our students, coach our kids’ sports teams, contribute millions to our community’s economy, and have heroically served on the frontlines of the coronavirus response as our doctors, nurses, and essential workers,” said U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville). “Today’s decision provides welcome temporary relief from the Trump Administration’s attacks, but without Congressional action, our friends and neighbors in the DACA program are still at risk.”
Schneider and Foster also called on Congress to pass full protections for DACA recipients.
“This opinion is the second time in a week when the Supreme Court, bolstered with two of President Donald Trump’s nominees, has ruled against the Trump administration,” said St. Louis LGBTQ organization PrideSTL. “Monday, the court rules that LGBTQ Americans are protected under the Civil Rights Act.
“DACA is a humane and respectful step on the journey toward the full inclusion in our society that its recipients and their families deserve. The Supreme Court only ruled the Administration needed to find a better policy explanation to end a program that at its core is protecting the health and well-being of immigrant families and children. However, there simply is no rationale for ending this program.”
“The Supreme Court rightly ruled in favor of over 700,000 citizens in waiting, their families, and our country’s future,” said Andrea Flores, deputy director of immigration policy at the ACLU. “The courts and the American people agree: It’s time for President Trump and Stephen Miller to end their crusade against Dreamers and immigrants writ large. This decision allows DACA recipients to live and work without the daily fear of deportation, and confirms what we have always known: America is their home.”
“Today, the Supreme Court put a speedbump in the road for Trump’s attempt to use the lives of undocumented immigrants to drive his nationalist agenda,” said National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey. “The Supreme Court did the right thing by upholding the right of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients, many of whom are LGBTQ, to stay in the U.S. to work, attend school and be protected from deportation.”
“This is a critical step in the right direction for young people across the country,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David in a statement. “The DACA program provides an opportunity for young people, including LGBTQ Dreamers, to live productive, safe and happy lives in the United States.”
The Trump administration, on the other hand, was very unhappy. Trump put out a tweet raging against both today’s decision and Monday’s on anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
…Religious Liberty, among many other things, are OVER and GONE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2020
Two Supreme Court justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were nominated by Trump.
The Hill reported that Trump also said he would release a list of potential nominees by Sept. 1. There are currently no vacancies on the high court nor have any justices announced retirement.
The decision was 5-4 against the administration.
Updated with more reaction at 5:25 p.m. 6/18/2020.