On June 28, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that they will review the legality of Trump’s decision to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in their upcoming term beginning October 2019. This announcement arises just a few weeks after the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed The Dream Act bill in early June 2019.
DACA was first implemented by President Barack Obama in 2012. The program allows qualified individuals in the U.S. who were brought to the country as children to receive a protection from deportation and a work permit.
The real issue presented before the court is not the actual legality of the program, but, whether Trump acted lawfully when he cancelled the program. On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the government was terminating DACA and the phase-out was set to begin in March 2018. However, the Trump administration was confronted with several legal challenges, and federal judges have ordered the administration to uphold major pieces of the program while those challenges move forward.
The Supreme Court justices will take on the Trump administration’s appeals of lower court rulings in California, New York and the District of Columbia that blocked his plan. The Plaintiffs, including a handful of organizations and DACA recipients, argue that the phase-out violated the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as the Administrative Procedure Act, which is a federal law that governs the way the federal government and administrative agencies propose and establish regulations.
The nine justices will hear arguments from both sides and issue a ruling in the coming year, meaning the decision may come amid the presidential race in which Trump seeks re-election. If the Court decides to side with the current administration, their decision would result in the loss of protection for almost 700,000 Dreamers who call the U.S. their home.
For a full list of the granted cases for the upcoming term, please visit supremecourt.gov.