The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) allows immigration officers discretion to defer deportation for young immigrants in certain situations. Officers can review the immigrant’s educational, professional or service pursuits within the country to aid in their decision. In many cases, the young immigrants, or Dreamers, received protection from deportation.

In 2017, President Donald Trump’s administration chose to rescind the policy, stating it was illegal. This led to courtroom battles. Thus far, lower courts have disagreed with the Trump administration’s rationale. SCOTUS will hear the case in November.

What are the arguments?

Those in favor of protecting the Dreamers argue not only that the law is legal, but that it helps the nation in two ways. First, immigrants help the job market. Leaders in the tech industry have publicly voiced support of Dreamers. Prominent examples include the CEO and senior vice president for retail and people of Apple have signed on in support, stating immigrants are “vital to Apple’s success.”

The second argument in favor of protecting the Dreamers involves the contention that these individuals also contribute to the economy. By simply living in the United States, the argument goes, they are paying for housing, buying products and paying taxes.

In contrast, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has argued that it chose to wind down the law because it is outside the scope of the executive branch's authority. As a result, regardless of the social impact, the agency argues the law is illegal.

What will SCOTUS decide?

First, SCOTUS will need to determine if the lower courts had the authority to review the termination of DACA. If so, the justices will next need to review whether the DHS’s violated the law when it rescinded DACA. It is too early to tell what the court will decide.

The ruling, not expected before the summer, will impact an estimated 800,000 young immigrants. We will provide updates as they become available.

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