WASHINGTON – In a 5-4 decision Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration’s ending of the Obama administration’s unlawful and unconstitutional Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, claiming that the administration had not given a sufficient explanation for ending the program. DACA provided the equivalent of administrative amnesty for almost 800,000 illegal aliens, giving them a renewable, two-year reprieve from removal, along with work authorization and other government benefits. The program was not authorized by Congress. The Heritage Foundation’s Lora Ries, Hans von Spakovsky and Cully Stimson released the following response to the ruling:
“The rule of law and control of our borders are fundamental principles of this country. Americans must be able to trust that their government will properly and consistently enforce our laws, and immigration is no exception. Today’s ruling simply delays ending a program that, as Justice Samuel Alito said in his dissent, was ‘unlawful from the start, and that alone’ was ‘sufficient to justify its termination.’
“The Obama administration took it upon itself to create its own amnesty program through DACA in June 2012, circumventing congressional rejection of such an amnesty program, a program Justice Clarence Thomas properly wrote in his dissent that DHS was fully justified in rescinding because it was beyond the president’s legal authority.
“The Court’s ruling is a major mistake and as Justice Thomas says, it ‘will hamstring all future agency attempts to undo actions that exceed statutory authority.’ The majority, led by Chief Justice Roberts, has endorsed a troubling standard in which one administration’s improper end-run around a duly enacted statute necessitates esoteric legal gamesmanship by a subsequent administration attempting to correct the overreach. This will only encourage more unlawful executive action circumventing the rule of law and the will of the people as expressed through the legislative branch.
“Contrary to what is being widely reported on social media and in the press, the Court’s ruling has not validated DACA. It requires the administration to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by providing a more extensive explanation for terminating the unlawful program. In the meantime, it should refuse to renew amnesty for any DACA beneficiaries as their deferral periods end. An act of Congress is still necessary to provide DACA recipients with lawful permanent resident status.
“The Trump administration must continue its vigorous and effective enforcement of America’s immigration laws, including securing the border and rejecting any other form of amnesty that will encourage even more illegal immigration. As America has witnessed on the southwest border, it is only through enforcement of our immigration laws and implementation of programs such as the Migration Protection Protocols and the Safe Third Country asylum rule that we have stopped caravans of illegal immigrants from overwhelming our border.”