WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants, a stunning rebuke to the president in the midst of his reelection campaign.
The outcome seems certain to elevate the issue in Trump’s campaign, given the anti-immigrant rhetoric of his first presidential run in 2016 and immigration restrictions his administration has imposed since then.
The justices rejected administration arguments that the 8-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program is illegal and that courts have no role to play in reviewing the decision to end DACA.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court that the administration did not pursue the end of the program properly.
“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,“ Roberts wrote. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action. Here the agency failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients.”
The Department of Homeland Security can try again, he wrote.
For now, DACA recipients retain their protection from deportation and their authorization to work in the United States.
In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot was asked about the ruling at an unrelated news conference. She had not yet heard the news, and choked up.
The ruling, Lightfoot said, will have a “huge impact” in Chicago. Young people holding on, wondering what their future holds will no longer have to worry, she said.
She was, she said, “overcome with joy and relief for them.” There are “so many young people who contribute to the vibrancy of our country. ... They deserve to be here. It’s a great day. A great day.”
Contributing: Fran Spielman