LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s reasons for rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), ruling 5-4 in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California that the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) filed an amicus brief in the case in September 2019. The brief was filed on behalf of nearly two dozen DACA recipients who are represented by MALDEF and intervened to defend the initiative against a 2017 challenge filed by Texas and other states. That case is ongoing.

The amicus brief took aim at the Trump administration’s reasoning for ending DACA.

MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz issued the following statement in response to today’s ruling:

“Today dawned a brighter morning than expected as the Supreme Court delivered great news to our nation.  Because a majority of the Court recognized the importance of integrity in federal policymaking, we will not face the incalculable damage from removing hundreds of thousands of educated, well-qualified workers from our economy.  Despite Donald Trump’s tenacious efforts to punish the nation by targeting immigrants, we will not see the precipitous removal of teachers from the students they inspire, health care workers from the patients they treat, essential employees from the businesses they sustain, soldiers from the nation they protect.  Integrity won the day, to the benefit of all.

“Today’s Court opinion indicates clearly that knee-jerk nativism is not acceptable public policy.  Our nation’s laws demand more from government.  Acting on the Trump administration’s naked animosity toward immigrants, the acting Secretary of Homeland Security failed to consider essential matters of policy in seeking to rescind DACA in 2017.  The Court opinion cites the failure to consider the wisdom or folly of leaving immigrants who are, from every vantage point, low priorities for immigration enforcement, in daily fear of arrest and detention.  The justices also cite the failure to consider the interests of immigrants who relied on DACA to undertake education and other endeavors to increase their contributions to the United States.  Instead, the acting secretary acted precipitously to end DACA base on political direction from the Trump White House to crack down on immigrants.  Today, the Court righteously rejected that ‘decision’ as unlawfully arbitrary and capricious.

“There remains much work to be done.  We must have federal leadership that will engage in legitimate policymaking, and we must demand that those leaders act swiftly to provide permanent protections to immigrants who daily contribute immeasurably to the progress of our society and our economy.”

Read a DACA timeline HERE.