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In a narrow 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is indeed constitutional -- a victory for DACA recipients, a group that includes tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ people.
The DACA program protects undocumented individuals brought to the U.S. as children from deportation; recipients are known as "dreamers." President Donald Trump and his attorneys general have waged war against DACA, claiming it's against the law. A slim majority of SCOTUS, including Chief Justice John Roberts and the four liberal justices, disagreed with Trump in their ruling, announced today.
In his opinion, Roberts wrote that the Trump administration did not follow the law in its dismantling of the 2012 program and took no heed in how ending it would affect its 800,000 recipients. In lieu of DACA, Trump has taken no substantive action toward getting Congress to pass immigration reform.
"We address only whether the [Department of Homeland Security] 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. That dual failure raises doubts about whether the agency appreciated the scope of its discretion or exercised that discretion in a reasonable manner."
Trump was furious at the SCOTUS ruling, which followed the high court banning employment discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, upholding state-level gun controls, and allowing California to keep its status as a "sanctuary state" for undocumented immigrants.
\u201cThese horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives. We need more Justices or we will lose our 2nd. Amendment & everything else. Vote Trump 2020!\u201d— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1592492895
Trump also tried to use the rulings to rally his supporters and make the claim that the nation needs "NEW JUSTICES."
Meanwhile, LGBTQ+ and immigration groups expressed jubilation at the SCOTUS decision.
\u201cBREAKING: Victory at the Supreme Court! The DACA ruling is a victory for young people across the country whose #HomeIsHere. Now, we must elect pro-equality leaders to Congress and call for passage of a clean DREAM Act to protect nearly 2 million DREAMers. https://t.co/CFzcJOaf3r\u201d— Human Rights Campaign (@Human Rights Campaign) 1592491508
\u201cU.S. Supreme Court blocks Trump from ending #DACA, upholding the right of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients, many of whom are #LGBTQ, to stay in the U.S. to work, attend school and be protected from deportation.\u201d— TheTaskForce (@TheTaskForce) 1592494708
\u201c\ud83e\udd73Yes! Yes! Yes! \ud83c\udf89\u201d— Immigration Equality (@Immigration Equality) 1592492158
\u201cVICTORY \ud83c\udf89 The Supreme Court has ruled that the Trump administration\u2019s termination of #DACA was ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS. Hundreds of thousands of immigrant young people can continue to live and work, and contribute to their communities in the U.S. #HomeIsHere #HeretoStay\u201d— National Immigration Law Center (@National Immigration Law Center) 1592489394
\u201cDACA IS HERE \ud83d\udc4f\ud83c\udffd TO \ud83d\udc4f\ud83c\udffd STAY\u201d— United We Dream (@United We Dream) 1592491101
\u201cThe U.S. Supreme Court has not only given 700,000 DACA recipients a chance to remain in the only home they have ever known, but has rebuked the Trump Administration\u2019s ongoing efforts to demonize and hurt hard-working immigrant families #HomeIsHere \nhttps://t.co/KOv0OoaACx\u201d— GLAAD (@GLAAD) 1592493568
\u201cToday, #SCTOUS ruled that #DACA recipients \u2013 over 39,000 of whom are #LGBTQ \u2013 cannot be deported from the only country many of them have ever known. #NCLR's #Immigration Project joins in celebrating this decision. Read NCLR's Full release: https://t.co/0kg43NPY63 #HereToStay\u201d— NCLR \u2013 National Center for Lesbian Rights (@NCLR \u2013 National Center for Lesbian Rights) 1592507408