WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Trump administration could not carry out its plan to close the deferred action program for the arrivals of children, which has helped nearly 800,000 young people, called “dreamers”, to avoid deportation and to stay in the United States.
Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote in Decision 5-4, which inflicts a major legal defeat on President Donald Trump on the issue of immigration, a major focus of his national agenda.
Roberts wrote in the decision that the government had not given adequate justification for ending the federal program. The administration may try to close it again with a more detailed explanation of its actions, but the White House may not want to end such a popular program in the heat of the presidential campaign.
Roberts was joined for the most part by Liberal judges Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
“We conclude that the acting secretary violated the [Administrative Procedure Act] “And that the decision to cancel DACA” should be overturned, “wrote Roberts. In his decision, Roberts called the Trump administration’s decision “arbitrary and capricious” “total termination” of the DACA.
Robert’s majority opinion center believed that Trump had broken the laws governing federal agencies when he ended DACA because the memorandum recommending its removal did not address crucial parts of the policy.
In addition, all the judges of the majority, except Sotomayor, rejected the argument put forward by the parties who brought the case before the Supreme Court that the administration’s decision to terminate the DACA was motivated by discrimination against Latinos.
Critically, however, Roberts emphasized in his decision that it was not necessarily unconstitutional for the Trump administration to end the DACA, but the way it was.
The Chief Justice pointed out towards the end of his opinion that the Homeland Security Administration Department could simply revise its legal strategy on how to untie DACA in the future.
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“The proper remedy, therefore, is to refer to DHS so that it can reconsider the problem,” Roberts wrote.
Conservative judges Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh filed opinions that were in agreement with parts of the majority and with parts of the dissent – many pointing out that the simple majority decision referred the matter to the administration.
“The Court still does not resolve the issue of the cancellation of the DACA,” Alito wrote in his dissent. “Instead, he tells the Department of Homeland Security to go back and try again. “
Thomas, in his dissent, wrote: “Today’s decision must be recognized for what it is: an effort to avoid a politically controversial but legally correct decision. The Court could have clarified that the solution sought by the respondents must come from the legislative branch. “
The move was widely praised by various Democratic lawmakers, business leaders and immigrant rights groups.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Choked on the Senate moments after the Supreme Court announced its decision.
Schumer said he was “crying with tears of joy” and qualified the decision, as well as the court decision issued on Monday, that existing federal law prohibited discrimination in employment on the grounds of sexual orientation or employment. transgender status, “a brilliant ray of sunshine”.
“Who would have thought,” he said repeatedly, noting “wow” repeatedly.
Apple CEO Tim Cook welcomed the decision, tweeting, “We are pleased with today’s decision and will continue to fight until the protections for DACA are permanent. “
And the National Immigration Law Center tweeted, “VICTORY.”
Immigration lawyers told the Supreme Court after the case was debated last fall that front-line health workers involved in the response to the coronavirus epidemic have approximately 27,000 DACA beneficiaries , “Including dentists, pharmacists, medical assistants, home health aides, technicians” and nearly 200 medical students.
“The termination of DACA during this national health emergency would be catastrophic,” they said in a file filed on April 2. The Association of American Medical Colleges declared in court last fall – well before the pandemic crisis – that the United States was not prepared “to make up for the loss that would result if DACA beneficiaries were excluded from staff health “.
The court said the Department of Homeland Security did not act correctly when it ordered the program to end in 2017. In response to court challenges, lower court decisions allowed the DACA to continue, allowing Youth in the program reapply every two years and stay under its protection. The children of illegal immigrants were allowed to stay here if they were under the age of 16 when their parents brought them to the United States and if they arrived by 2007.
DACA advocates have argued that federal law requires the Trump administration to give a detailed explanation before trying to close the program – an action that would affect hundreds of thousands of people and the companies that employ them. Instead, they said, the government simply declared the program illegal. Over 100 corporate groups, including Apple and Microsoft, have sought to preserve the DACA, claiming that many of their employees are part of the program.
Figures show that more than 90% of DACA participants are employed. Almost half are in school. Many do not speak the language or know the culture of their country of origin.
Among them, Claudia Quinonez from Maryland, brought to the United States at the age of 11 by her mother, who exceeded the tourist visa deadline.
“DACA has really changed my life. I have a social security number. I have the ability to work, to contribute and to pay taxes, “she said.