Washington DC, June 18: The US Supreme Court ruled Thursday the Trump administration cannot rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that has protected at least 650,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from being deported to their native countries.
Conservative Chief Justice John G. Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in the 5-4 ruling. It is viewed as a defeat for President Donald Trump, who has sought to roll back the DACA program for the past two years, VoA News reported.
The program was created in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama to supply protections for qualified young immigrants to stay in the country and work or attend school. The program became part of what was known as “The Dream Act” proposal, and the young immigrants themselves, “dreamers,” although Congress never passed the legislation.
In his decision for the majority, Roberts found, as had lower courts, that the administration did not follow procedures required by law and did not properly weigh how ending the program would affect those who had come to rely on its protections against deportation, and the ability to work legally in the U.S.
Roberts wrote, “We do not decide if DACA or its rescission are sound policies. We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it supply reasoned explanation for its action.”
Among those who dissented was Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote that DACA was illegal from the moment it was created.
“Today’s decision must be recognised for what it is: an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision,” Thomas wrote.
Thursday’s ruling was the second time in nearly a year that Roberts and the liberal justices faulted the administration for the way it went about a policy change. Last year, the court forced the administration to back off a citizenship question on the 2020 census.