In 2017, the current administration attempted to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program allowed so-called “Dreamers” – young immigrants who had entered the country illegally as children – to stay in the country legally through renewable, two-year visas.
The move to end DACA was met with lawsuits from different state governments and civil rights groups. In November of last year, the case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) – whose job it was to determine once and for all whether the actions of the White House followed the necessary procedural requirements outlined under the law. For the last seven months, Dreamers have been anxiously waiting for the Court to determine their fate.
Last week, the Court issued a ruling that the president’s actions were “arbitrary and capricious” under the Administrative Procedure Act. This means that, at least for now, the DACA program will remain. The ruling represents an enormous win for the nearly 650,000 members of the immigrant community.
What does this mean moving forward?
It’s important to note that the Supreme Court’s ruling does not address whether the president’s attempted policy change is legal – or even sound. Its role was solely to examine whether the president’s action met certain procedural standards and was supported by sound rationale. Due to shortfalls in these areas, the Court rejected the policy change.
It is worth understanding, however, that this decision does not mean that DACA is safe permanently. The current administration could make another attempt to end the program. However, the chances of this happening before the upcoming election on November 3 are slim. Therefore, if the president does not get re-elected, the long-term future of the DACA program moving forward is likely much more secure.