Vanderbilt responds to Supreme Court’s DACA ruling

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of preserving DACA, temporarily protecting the livelihoods of the nearly 650,000 “dreamers” currently in the United States.

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Emily Gonçalves

The US Supreme Court conlcuded that the dismantlement of DACA was unconstitutional.

Logan Cromeens, Deputy News Editor

On June 18, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). 

The majority decision, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, declared that the order given by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to dismantle DACA failed to comply with procedural requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Thus, the Court reversed the order.

“Here the agency [DHS] failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients. That dual failure raises doubts about whether the agency appreciated the scope of its discretion or exercised that discretion in a reasonable manner,” Roberts wrote in the majority decision.   

The DACA program was created in 2012 by the Obama administration to allow undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to work, study and live in the United States on a renewable permit. There are around 650,000 “dreamers” living throughout the country today.

Vanderbilt and 18 other universities filed a joint amicus brief, a legal document offering information and insight on a central issue of a case, in the Supreme Court in support of DACA in Oct. 2019, noting that a dismantling of DACA would hinder each institution’s ability to “attract and educate the most talented young people.” 

In response to the Supreme Court decision, Vanderbilt offered the following statement:

“We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision that the Trump Administration did not follow the proper administrative process in attempting to rescind DACA. We have always believed in the potential of these young student scholars, who have been raised and educated in the United States, to contribute to their communities and our national economy. It is unfathomable that we as a nation would deny these young people the ability to continue to reach their dreams in the only nation they’ve ever called home.

Despite this positive ruling from the Supreme Court, we know that it is critically important for Congress to find a permanent bipartisan solution for DACA students. We strongly urge lawmakers to take this next step.”

President of Vanderbilt’s Association of Latin American Students (ALAS), Ana Torres, said she was “beyond happy” with the Supreme Court’s decision.  

“I believe this is a step in the right direction for immigrants,” Torres said.

Publicity and Marketing Chair of ALAS, Jessica Prus,  noted that “dreamers” are by no means out of the woods.

“I urge caution against being too optimistic. The majority ruling was based on a legal technicality, which claimed that the DHS did not have proper justification for terminating DACA,” Prus said. “This means that the Trump administration can again attempt to end DACA using other reasoning. DREAMERs are not safe and will not be until they have a pathway to citizenship that allows them to stay in the United States throughout the process.”

The Trump administration has already begun its new attempt at dismantling the DACA program, signaling to Congress that legislative action is required to permanently decide the fate of our nation’s “dreamers.”