US Supreme Court rules Trump administration improperly ended DACA program

US Supreme Court rules Trump administration improperly ended DACA program

Photo Credits: BEATRICE MURCH [CC BY 2.0] / FLICKR

DACA program must resume accepting applications, Trump administration could attempt to end program again

The U.S. Supreme Court released its decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program today, June 18, ruling in a 5-4 decision that the Trump administration improperly ended the program, but that the administration could attempt to end the program if it followed the correct procedure.

In September of 2019, the UC became the first university to file a lawsuit against the rescission of the program. DACA, launched in 2012 under President Barack Obama, is a program that grants people who entered the U.S. as young children protection from deportation, the ability to apply for work permits and the ability to get a driver’s license. DACA does not create a pathway for legal citizenship or give a person official legal status, and was only available for new applications until 2017, when then Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump Administration’s call for the end of DACA.

Approximately 4,000 undocumented students and 1,700 DACA recipients attend UC schools.

Claiming that the Trump Administration acted illegally by terminating the DACA program without offering any valid justification for doing so, the UC and other groups across the nation filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government. In June of 2019, the Supreme Court agreed to review the challenges, then heard oral arguments in November of 2019, ending in the release of the decision on Thursday.

In a statement released in the afternoon on the day of the decision, Chancellor Gary May said “Today marks a significant victory in the name of social equity.”

“This ruling is a huge relief to so many valued members of our UC Davis community,” May said. “While UC Davis — and the entire UC system — has been consistent in its support for DACA, our undocumented community has faced incredible stress and uncertainty as they awaited this decision over the past two years.”

The AB540 and Undocumented Student Center on campus has been working to support DACA and the influx of undocumented students unable to apply for DACA because applications are no longer being accepted. 

“We have a partnership with the nonprofit Immigrants Rising, which offers webinars and toolkits on subjects like understanding entrepreneurship and independent contracting work,” said Mayra Llamas, executive director of the Community Resource and Retention Centers. “We’re trying to explore how we can coach students who might be losing other ways of earning wages and thinking of how we can unpack this for our students.”

Written by: Jessica Baggott — campus@theaggie.org