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.
For now, those immigrants retain their protection from deportation and their authorization to work in the United States.
From the Senate floor, the Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said of the DACA decision, “I cried tears of joy.”
“Wow,” he went on, choking up. “These kids, these families, I feel for them, and I think all of America does.”
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.
It was the second big liberal victory at the court this week, following Monday’s ruling that it’s illegal to fire people because they’re gay or transgender.
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, joined by his four liberal colleagues, wrote for the court that the administration did not pursue the end of the program properly.
DACA covers people who have been in the United States since they were children and are in the country illegally. In some cases, they have no memory of any home other than the U.S.
The program grew out of an impasse over a comprehensive immigration bill between Congress and the Obama administration in 2012.
President Barack Obama decided to formally protect people from deportation while also allowing them to work legally in the U.S.