The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was “arbitrary and capricious” under the Administrative Procedure Act, and that the decision to end it must be vacated.
The decision returns the issue to the Department of Homeland Security and means the Trump administration cannot immediately end the DACA program, which provides protection against deportation and work authorization for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. An estimated 454,000 undocumented immigrant college students comprise roughly 2 percent of the U.S. higher education system. About half -- 216,000 -- are eligible for the DACA program.
Many college leaders had advocated for keeping DACA protections in place.
John Roberts, the chief justice, wrote the court's majority opinion, which the four liberal justices signed on to in whole or in part.
Former president Obama established the DACA program in 2012. President Trump announced plans to end it in September 2017, but his attempts to do so were blocked by lower courts, which held that his administration did not follow proper procedure in ending the program.
“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” wrote Roberts. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.”
The court found that it did not.
(Note: Inside Higher Ed will update this breaking news article.)