Reuters, June 28, 2019
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether President Donald Trump acted lawfully when he moved to end a program that shields from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, a key part of his hardline immigration policies.
The nine justices took up the Trump administration’s appeals of three lower court rulings that blocked his 2017 move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program implemented in 2012 by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.
The program currently protects about 700,000 immigrants often called ‘Dreamers,’ mostly Hispanic young adults, from deportation and provides them work permits, though not a path to citizenship.
The program has remained in effect despite Trump’s efforts to rescind it, part of his hard-line immigration policies that have become a prominent feature of his presidency and his 2020 re-election campaign.
The legal question before the Supreme Court was whether the administration properly followed a federal law called the Administrative Procedure Act in Trump’s plan to end DACA.
Three federal district court judges issued orders halting Trump’s move to end DACA in lawsuits challenging the move filed by a group of states, people protected by the program, rights groups and others. The Trump administration has argued that Obama exceeded his constitutional powers when he bypassed Congress and created the program.
The Trump administration said Trump possesses the authority to end a program implemented by a previous president, acted lawfully in seeking to rescind it and that courts should have no say in the matter.
Lawsuits challenging Trump’s action were filed in various courts by a group of states including California and New York, individual DACA recipients, the University of California, civil rights groups, labor unions and Microsoft Corp, which expressed concern its own employees would be affected.