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Supreme Court rejects Trump bid to end ‘Dreamer’ immigrant program

Protestors supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program outside the US Supreme Court on June 15, 2020. (AFP Photo/JIM WATSON)

WashingtonUnited States | AFP | The US Supreme Court dealt President Donald Trump’s efforts to choke off immigration a fresh blow Thursday when it rejected his cancellation of the DACA program protecting 700,000 “Dreamers,” undocumented migrants brought to the United States as children.

The high court said Trump’s 2017 move to cancel his predecessor Barack Obama’s landmark Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was “arbitrary and capricious” under government administrative procedures.

The judgement on a five-to-four vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the court’s four liberal members, stressed that it was not an assessment of the correctness of the 2012 DACA program itself.

Instead, they said the Trump administration had violated official government procedures in the way they sought to quickly rescind DACA in September 2017 based on weak legal justifications.

The decision came three and a half years after Trump entered office promising to halt almost all immigration and to expel the more than 10 million people estimated living in the country, many for decades, without legal immigration documents.

The Obama administration had sought to address this issue in 2012 with the DACA policy offering protection at renewable two-year periods, including authorization to work, to people brought into the United States illegally as children and then growing up here.

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