The Trump Administration's suffered a major immigration setback today in the Supreme Court. It's punitive effort to eliminate "DACA," the Program instituted by the Obama Administration to give "Dreamers" (foreign children brought to the USA illegally through no fault of their own) a chance to live and work in the USA, was held to be legally flawed by the Court. The decision, Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of Univ. of Cal. (18-587 S.Ct., 06/18/2020 ) can be downloaded here, https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-587_5ifl.pdf .
The decision is a technical one under the Federal "Administrative Procedures Act," or "APA." The APA allows persons "aggrieved" by agency action to sue to invalidate the action if they can prove that the decision was "arbitrary and capricious," and that is exactly what happened here. Basically, the Court held that the Dept of Homeland Security's initial decision to terminate DACA lacked a reasonable factual basis and showed inadequate consideration of the relevant pros and cons of the DACA Program. The Court also found that a later issuance of grounds for terminating DACA by the then serving Secretary of DHS may have been sufficient to terminate DACA, but came too late to cure the initial flawed decision. In other words, The Trump Administration had the right to terminate DACA, but only if it showed that timely, mature consideration went into the decision.
Not surprisingly, conservatives were outraged by the decision, for good tactical reasons. It will be all but impossible for the Trump Administration to end DACA and get through the Court system again before the national election this November, with the real possibility that if Trump is defeated at the polls, DACA won't be eliminated at all.
This is a great day not just for immigration advocates, but especially for the "Dreamers," who have endured difficult months and years worrying that they had no future in the United States. Now they have another chance to dream of a positive solution to their plight. Today's decision buys valuable time to seek a permanent solution through remedial legislation passed by a new Congress.
Brian D. O'Neill Attorney at Law, LLC
Immigration, Employment and Business Law
55 Madison Ave., Ste 400
Morristown, NJ 07960