The Supreme Court on Thursday voted 5-4 against the Trump Administration’s plan to end Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (better known as DACA), with Chief Justice John Roberts describing the plan as “arbitrary and capricious.”
The ruling made it clear that Trump does have the power to end DACA, he just needs a detailed plan to do it.
“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” wrote Roberts. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.”
In his opinion, Roberts noted that the Administration failed to consider the impacts of its decision to end DACA and failed to consider the benefits of maintaining certain aspects of the program.
Trump was infuriated by the decision, which marks the second time the Supreme Court has overruled him this week.
“These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives,” tweeted Trump. “Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?”
Thursday’s ruling sends the DACA problem back to the DHS, which will need to produce a detailed plan on how to end DACA. This is unlikely to occur before the November election.
As noted by dissenting Justice Clarence Thomas, the Court’s decision was clearly an effort to avoid drama and delay the issue: “Today’s decision must be recognized for what it is,” wrote Thomas, “an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision.”
DACA is a controversial program established by President Obama in 2012 that offered legal protections to certain individuals who were brought to the US illegally as children.
DACA recipients, known as “Dreamers,” are eligible for renewable protection from deportation, work authorization, and Social Security numbers. There are currently about 650,000 recipients (down from 800,000 at the program’s peak). The program has not accepted any new applications for years.
President Trump views DACA as an unlawful policy that was implemented without approval from Congress (it was established via executive order). He vowed to end the program while campaigning in 2016 and attempted to do so in 2017.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has already promised to make DACA permanent if he is elected in November.
Editor’s Note: Trump has actually had DACA on the table for a while, he offered it up to the Democrats in exchange for the wall. The Democrats wouldn’t take the deal, so the DACA recipients are still in the cold and Trump has his wall. Trump knows that Republicans are sympathetic to the DACA recipients, they just don’t want open borders.