In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled to block the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with liberal judges.
Enacted during the Obama administration, DACA grants work authorization and renewable two-year protection from deportation for children brought to America without documentation. Nearly 700,000 people have benefited from the program, which Donald Trump vowed to end in a series of tweets in September 2017. In 2016, Trump campaigned on the promise that, should he be elected, he would devote his time in office to harassing children who had followed proper legal channels to keep them in the country. A lengthy battle ensued over whether the Department of Homeland Security had legally recinded DACA.
In his opinion, Justice Roberts made it clear that the decision was not based on whether or not he personally wants to deport children but the argument that the DHS didn’t go through the proper legal channels to get back to deporting them:
“We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action,” Roberts wrote. “Here the agency failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients.”
He also suggested that they could try again later:
“That dual failure raises doubts about whether the agency appreciated the scope of its discretion or exercised that discretion in a reasonable manner. The appropriate recourse is therefore to remand to DHS so that it may consider the problem anew.”
However, if Donald Trump is not in office next year, DACA would most likely cease to be a “problem” because Joe Biden probably won’t monomaniacally focus his entire presidency on hatching racist schemes for being unfathomably cruel to children and immigrants.