The Supreme Court Did NOT Rule That DACA Is Here To Stay
Updated: Oct 20
The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Trump Administration could not end DACA because they did not provide sufficient justification as to why it should end. Chief Justice John Roberts indicated that the administration’s abrupt end to the program violated the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946. This act governs the process that federal agencies use to develop and issue regulations, as well as provides standards for judicial review if a person has been adversely affected by an agency action. In this instance, the majority held that the Trump administration failed to take into consideration how rescinding the policy would hurt DACA recipients and therefore violated the APA.
The Hard Truth is that the Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of the program.
This ruling was purely a procedural ruling and not a judgment of policy.
DACA was created in 2012 by President Obama through an executive order. The policy makes illegal immigrants living in the United States who were brought here as children eligible for a renewable, 2-year stay on deportation action and work visas.
The Trump administration moved to eliminate DACA in 2017, essentially arguing that DACA was simply an executive order to not enforce existing immigration laws.
However, the Supreme Court made clear that DACA is not just a ‘non-enforcement’ policy, but one that actually provides benefits to those who apply and are approved.
Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion. He writes, “We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies. The wisdom of those decisions is none of our concern. We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provided a reasoned explanation for its action.”
Roberts continued that essentially when the Trump administration moved to rescind the program, they failed to provide sufficient evidence and explanation that would answer ‘more important’ questions like how those who rely on DACA would be affected.
However, Roberts made it clear: the administration has every right to rescind DACA, with Roberts writing, “the dispute before the Court is not whether DHS may rescind DACA. All parties agree that it may. The dispute is instead primarily about the procedure the agency followed in doing so.”
What these statements make clear is that in no way did the Supreme Court rule that DACA is constitutional, or more importantly, that it is here to stay.
The Trump Administration can very well rescind DACA if they provide justification that meets the standards required by the APA and can prove it to the courts.