US Supreme Court blocks order to end DACA, many Indians among beneficiaries
The US Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a Trump administration order rescinding a popular Obama-era protection from deportation for hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants, including many from India, who had been brought to this country as children.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the 5-4 majority opinion, called the decision of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has overarching jurisdiction on immigration issues, to rescind the 2012 order as “arbitrary and capricious”. The order does not prevent future attempts though.
“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts said. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action. Here the agency failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients.”
President Barack Obama had issued the protection through an executive order in 2012 barring the deportation of undocumented immigrants who came here as children. Called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Trump administration rescinded it in November 2017. But it was blocked from going into effect by lower courts, and now by the highest court in the country.
The US citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has said there are an estimated 699,350 DACA recipients, also called Dreamers, protected by DACA. The United States has told India at least 2,550 of them are from India.
India raised the issue of DACA Indians with the Trump administration along with the tightening of rules for H-1B non-immigrant visa for specialized professionals.
There is broad bipartisan support for DACA recipients among lawmakers and and Republican have worked closely with Democrats to try to finds a long-term solution, to find a clear path from them to stay on become citizens. Polls have also found widespread support for them among Americans.
This was a second ruling in a week by the conservative court that has gone against the Trump administration. On Monday, Neil Gorsuch, aTrump appointee, joined the chief justice, also a conservative, and the bench’s four liberal justices to extend workplace protections from discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the LGBTQ community.
President Donald Trump lashed out at the court in an angry tweet. “These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives.”
“Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?” he asked in a a follow-up tweet.
Two of the nine justices are his appointees; the second is Brett Kavanaugh.