San Francisco, CA — The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) announced its decision today to uphold Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama-era deportation relief program. A 5-4 decision led by Chief Justice John Roberts calls the Trump administration’s two-year attempt to end the program “arbitrary”.
“Today we celebrate with DACA recipients and their families! The Supreme Court correctly saw the Trump administration’s attacks against DACA for what they are: racist and xenophobic.
We continue to stand alongside DACA recipients and each of the 11 million undocumented individuals. We know this is only the first step towards keeping families together.” said CAA Co-Executive Director Cynthia Choi.
In November 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard three consolidated cases from California, Washington D.C, and New York, challenging the Trump Administration’s attempt to end DACA. In April 2020, the Supreme Court accepted an additional brief that demonstrated DACA recipients’ contributions to the healthcare industry, as the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths were rising across the country.
The SCOTUS majority ruled that the Trump administration failed to provide adequate reasoning for ending the program, and did not address how hardships to DACA recipients would be handled if the program were rescinded. While the decision leaves room for the Trump administration to bring future challenges to the program, those processes could take years.
“Immigrant communities welcome SCOTUS’s DACA decision halting the Administration’s plan to put an end to it. It’s a victory to our community! Let’s continue the momentum to build a pathway to permanent status for all DACA recipients and the broader undocumented community, “ said Jose Ng, CAA Immigrant Rights Program Manager.
Enacted by the Obama administration, DACA was a hard-fought, grassroots victory led by undocumented youth. It provides recipients a temporary 2-year protection from deportation and provides work authorization and access to higher education in the United States.
In a time of great unrest in this country, today’s decision builds on a week of important victories for civil and immigrant rights including two SCOTUS actions that upheld LGBTQ protections against discrimination in the workplace, and kept California’s sanctuary laws in place.
Community members with questions about this decision should consult with an immigration attorney to understand the implications of the ruling on their individual cases. CAA provides impacted community members pre-screening and referral services to trusted, low-cost, immigrant legal service providers. Community members may call (415) 761-3222 to schedule an appointment with CAA staff.
Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) is a community-based civil rights organization in San Francisco. Our mission is to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States. We advocate for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial injustice.