DACA Program Remains as Supreme Court Rules Trump Administration’s Attempted Rescission Unlawful

Published by Matt Fishman on

The Supreme Court has concluded today, that the Trump Administration’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), “and that the rescission must be vacated”.

DACA is a program which allows certain illegal aliens who entered the United States as children to apply for a temporary delay of removal. “The program applies to childhood arrivals who were under age 31 in 2012; have continuously resided here since 2007; are current students, have completed high school, or are honorably discharged veterans; have not been convicted of any serious crimes; and do not threaten national security or public safety.”

In late 2017, the Department of Homeland Security announced they would rescind the program; no new applications would be accepted; and DACA recipients with current work authorizations would not be revoked, but would expire, with no prospect for renewal.

Multiple lawsuits quickly emerged, claiming “that the rescission was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the APA and that it infringed the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause”.

The dispute before the Supreme Court was not whether the Department of Homeland Security may rescind DACA. “All parties agree that it may.” The dispute was, primarily, “about the procedure the agency followed in doing so”.

The Administrative Procedure Act establishes the guidelines and requirements for federal agencies implementation of new rules and policies. And, according to the Supreme Court decision, this requires agencies to engage in “reasoned decisionmaking,” which DHS did not do.

If the Supreme Court instead voted to uphold the program repeal’s lawfulness, some 700,000 DACA recipients would be vulnerable to deportation.