The Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration’s attempt to deport DACA students in the long battle to protect people brought as children from Latin America; pictured, a DACA rally at the Santa Barbara courthouse in 2017. | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

The United States Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Thursday, deeming the filing a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. The program, established by the Obama administration in 2012, currently protects from deportation 650,000 “young people who are making vital contributions to their families, schools, employers, and the nation,” commented Janet Napolitano, head of the University of California, which was the first university board to challenge the lawsuit. While DACA recipients remain protected by the program, future attempts to dissolve DACA remain possible.

In this instance, the Supreme Court did not address the legality of the program, but the opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, stated the administration had not provided a “reasoned explanation for its action.”

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Congressmember Salud Carbajal of California’s 24th District commented on the future of the program, stating, “While today’s Supreme Court decision is a major win, I will not rest until protections for Dreamers are codified into law. The House has passed the Dream and Promise Act, and now the Senate must act. The Trump administration now needs to immediately reopen DACA applications for all applicants.”

Napolitano noted that several DACA participants had contributed testimonies in the suit and that more than a thousand entities, including attorneys general, companies, higher education institutions, law enforcement officials, and advocates, had endorsed the legal efforts to protect DACA. California has the highest number of DACA recipients in the country, with more than 200,000 Dreamers residing in the state.

Undaunted by the ruling, DACA opponents hope to thwart the continuance of the program.  Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, views the program as a threat to public safety and its existence as illegal. His response to the Supreme Court’s decision was to “encourage the Trump administration not to give up but to end DACA now to preserve the rule of law, protect our borders, and ensure public safety.” 

Although the Trump administration’s efforts to end DACA have been redirected, there are still means through which the administration can pursue ending the program. The future of DACA relies on active immigration reform in Congress or possible administrative action by the next White House occupant.

At the Santa Barbara Independent, our staff is working around the clock to cover every aspect of this crisis — sorting truth from rumor.  Our reporters and editors are asking the tough questions of our public health officials and spreading the word about how we can all help one another. The community needs us — now more than ever — and we need you  in order to keep doing the important work we do. Support the Independent by making a direct contribution or with a subscription to Indy+.


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