On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court made its ruling on a case regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The decision states that the Trump administration’s attempt to end the Obama-era program was mishandled, and therefore, unlawful. This is good news for the more than 700,000 “DREAMers” that the program protects from deportation. The program has been in limbo in the court system since the administration tried to end the program in 2017, claiming it was “unlawful.”
The DACA program gives temporary legal status some non-citizens from deportation who were brought to the U.S. by their parents when they were children. The Court specifically said that the Trump administration did have the right to end the program, but they must follow certain steps in order to do so. That means they could go back and try again, as long as they follow the correct procedure. According to the Court, they must give a policy justification and address certain issues, including:
- The status of the thousands of people who have already signed up for the program and relied on it for school and careers
- The fact that these people have married and had 200,000 thousand children who are U.S. citizens
- Explain how the program was “unlawful”
What happens next?
Some immigration experts think that the DACA program is open again. That means the administration will have to accept new applications for the DACA program, something they stopped doing in 2017. As the Court said, however, they could try to end the program again and would have the ability to do so if they followed the right procedure.
The question on many people’s minds is whether the administration would try to do so before the November elections. They may not have the time or the political willpower. Many polls have shown that Americans overwhelmingly support the program, regardless of their political affiliation. In addition, many employers have pushed to keep the program in place. President Trump could try again if he wins a second term.
If you or a loved one is a DREAMer, you can rest easy for the time being. The DACA program is back in place. Keep an eye out for further developments, however, and seek legal advice when needed.