New York, NY – Today, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s attempt to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful. We are pleased that the Supreme Court reversed the termination of DACA and found that the way it was done was “arbitrary and capricious.” This preserves the right of DACA recipients to remain and keep working, contributing to our society, and living with their families in the country that they consider home – yet which has failed to fully recognize them.
“Today’s Supreme Court decision reaffirms the value and contributions we bring to the country that we call home. As a DACA recipient who has lived in the US for almost 20 years, I’ve lived and witnessed the impact that a work permit and protection from deportation can have in someone’s potential, education, and career,” said Daniela Alulema, CMS’s director of programs.
Today’s decision is extremely meaningful and a great relief for the 652,880 active DACA recipients and their families who have waited anxiously since the administration sought to rescind the program in September 2017 – and on each potential Supreme Court decision day this spring. DACA recipients are deeply integrated in US communities and enjoy longstanding connections to the United States, the country that most of them know as their only home. A CMS report from November 2019, found that 81 percent of DACA recipients has lived in the United States for more than 15 years and that 346,455 US-born children under the age of 18 have at least one DACA parent. Recently, tens of thousands of DACA recipients have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping Americans safe, healthy, and fed.
The Supreme Court ruled against Trump administration because it violated the Administrative Procedure Act in two ways. First, the administration failed to explain why providing a temporary reprieve or forbearance from removal was “unlawful.” Second, it failed to consider whether the program had created “reliance interests” – particularly on the part of DACA beneficiaries and their family members – that needed to be considered in its decision. These omissions, the Court held, made the administration’s decision to terminate DACA “arbitrary and capricious.”
“DACA was and remains only a temporary stopgap measure,” said Ms. Alulema. “DACA recipients have been living on the edge of our seats under the Trump administration. Our work, dedication, and contributions have shown how deeply invested we are in our communities. It is time Congress finally stops using our lives as bargaining chips in a cruel, endless political game and provides a secure path to citizenship.”
The Trump administration’s rescission of the DACA program in September 2017 left thousands of qualifying young immigrants out of the program. The Department of Homeland Security should ensure the prompt and efficient administration of the program.
June 18, 2020