WASHINGTON (CNS): On June 18, the United States (US) Supreme Court ruled against efforts by the administration of the president, Donald Trump, to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
In a 5-4 decision, the court said the administration’s actions in rescinding the programme were “arbitrary and capricious.”
Last November, the court examined three separate appellate court rulings that blocked Trump’s 2017 executive order to end DACA, started in 2012 under the Obama administration and which has enabled about 700,000 qualifying young people, described as Dreamers—brought to the US as children by their parents without legal documentation—to work, go to college, get health insurance, a driver’s license and not face deportation.
“We welcome the US Supreme Court’s decision noting that the Trump administration did not follow proper administrative procedures required to repeal the DACA program,” a statement by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said.
“To DACA youth, through today’s decision and beyond, we will continue to accompany you and your families. You are a vital part of our Church and our community of faith. We are with you,” said the statement said.
The bishops urged the president to “strongly reconsider terminating DACA,” noting that “immigrant communities are really hurting now amidst Covid-19 and moving forward with this action needlessly places many families into further anxiety and chaos.”
They also urged senators to “immediately pass legislation that provides a path to citizenship for Dreamers. Permanent legislative protection that overcomes partisanship and puts the human dignity and future of Dreamers first is long overdue.”
The court’s majority opinion, written by chief justice, John Roberts, noted that the court’s action does not stop future efforts to end DACA, but that the government failed to give acceptable reasons for ending it.
Trump responded to the court’s decision by tweeting: “Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?” adding in another tweet: “These horrible and politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives.”
Many Catholic leaders reacted positively with statements and tweets immediately after decision was announced.
“Thank God the Supreme Court recognised the human dignity of #DACA recipients,” tweeted Bishop John Stowe of Lexington Kentucky, while Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, tweeted: “DACA young adults and families, today, your tears are tears of joy. We are with you!”
Pat McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, which has 100 DACA undergraduate students, called that the court’s decision is a “triumph for justice in America.”
She said, “Young people whose presence in this country is a result of their parents’ flight from violence and oppression in search of a better life deserve respect, support and every opportunity to succeed in American society.”
She also said the efforts to rescind DACA “caused immense pain and suffering among Dreamers who did nothing wrong, who have been striving for better lives for themselves and their families.”