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.
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.