Nearly three years after the Trump administration’s announcement that it was seeking to wind down and ultimately eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Supreme Court has determined in a 5-4 ruling that the attempt is not permissible.
The decision hinged primarily on whether the court accepted as lawful the way the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed eliminating the DACA program. The court stated, “We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies… We address only whether [DHS] complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.”
Ultimately, it found that DHS "failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients.” Thus, the court determined that DHS’ elimination attempts were arbitrary and capricious and constituted a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.
The justices returned the issue to DHS so that “it may consider the problem anew,” and their ruling does not prevent future attempts to end the program. However, given the timing of the decision and the November presidential election, the Trump administration’s further attempts to eliminate the DACA Program are likely contingent on reelection.
NACUBO joined 44 other higher education associations in submitting an amici curiae brief in support of the DACA program. Additional resources are available on NACUBO's DACA page.