The Supreme Court heard arguments last week on whether the Trump administration should be allowed to shut down the Obama-era program that protects roughly 700,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children from deportation.
The Trump administration rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017 with the rationale that it was illegal and unconstitutional. Three federal appeals courts disagreed, and the Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the justices that the administration had every right to end DACA because it was a discretionary program that President Barack Obama authorized through executive action in 2012. “We own this,” Francisco told the court.
Washington lawyer Theodore Olson, arguing in support of DACA on behalf of a coalition of businesses, civil rights groups and individuals, said the government had “invited [DACA recipients] into the program,” and the Trump administration had failed to lay out its policy reasons for ending the program.
The House passed a bill earlier this year to grant so-called Dreamers enrolled in DACA from deportation and grant permanent residency with a path to citizenship, but it has not been taken up by the GOP-led Senate. The White House strongly objected to the bill, saying it “would incentivize and reward illegal immigration while ignoring and undermining key Administration immigration objectives and policy priorities, such as protecting our communities and defending our borders.”
The Supreme Court’s decision is likely to come next June, in the midst of the 2020 presidential campaign.