The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a move by the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program, indefinitely extending protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of people in the United States.
DACA was set up under the Obama administration to provide people who had been brought to the country without documents as children an opportunity to work and go to school without fear of deportation. The Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an abrupt end to that program.
The 5-4 decision found that the way that DHS tried to stop the program was “arbitrary and capricious.” Those terms are embedded in the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), which gives a blueprint for how agencies deal in policy.
That means that the administration or Congress can move forward on other changes to immigration policy or another attempt to wind down DACA, assuming they do not run afoul of the courts again, making it an uncertain reprieve. The ruling also only provides protections for DACA recipients, not for other undocumented people in the country.
That means there is still work to be done, said Kamau Chege, a Kenyan-born DACA recipient, in a press release.
“DACA shows we know how to fairly examine each case to provide people with the stability they need to keep contributing to their communities and their country,” Chege said. “What we need now is to expand these protections to all immigrants, end the practice of deporting our neighbors and reinvest in public health and essential workers instead of harmful Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations and bloated police budgets.”
The city announced a partnership between the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA), the King County Bar Association (KCBA) and the Washington Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to provide free legal consultations to DACA recipients.
Libraries will remain closed at least until June 30 and eviction moratoriums will be extended until Aug. 1 under an extension of coronavirus-related closures and policies signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan on June 18.
The city will also continue to suspend enforcement of paid parking on city streets and will not boot vehicles with unpaid parking tickets until further notice.
The decision lined up with Gov. Jay Inslee’s executive order, which also extended residential evictions and commercial tenant protections through Aug. 1.
Much of city and state life have been shut down since Inslee’s March “stay-at-home” order. He later detailed a four-phase reopening plan. King County is newly in Phase 2, which still bans large gatherings but allows some businesses to reopen.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC.
Read more in the June 24-30, 2020 issue.