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SCOTUS ruling won’t end the DACA saga

Media Contact

Rachel Rhodes

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program was not legal. The decision is a win for those protected by DACA, undocumented children brought to the U.S. at an early age, otherwise known as ‘Dreamers’.


Jaclyn Kelley-Widmer

Assistant Clinical Professor of Law

Jaclyn Kelley-Widmer, professor of immigration law at the Cornell Law School, directs the Immigration Law and Advocacy Clinic and is an expert on the DACA program. She says that the decision of the Court stems from a need for the administration to consider alternatives to a policy upon which Americans rely.

Kelley-Widmer says:

DACA survives to fight another day.‘This is not the case for cutting corners,’ wrote Chief Justice Roberts. That is, the government must explain itself when rescinding a policy upon which people rely, and it must also consider other alternatives aside from rescission. Here, the Court ruled, DHS did not fully consider the human and economic costs of rescinding DACA, which ‘radiate outward’ to DACA recipients, their families, and to their schools and employers. And it must balance these costs against any costs of continuing the program.

“Still, this decision does not end the DACA saga. The government can go back to the drawing board and issue a new memo, following the Court’s guidebook—not unlike its subsequent renditions of the Muslim travel bans. For now, DACA recipients should continue to renew their status. New applicants may soon be able to apply. While DACA will likely continue into the next administration, Congress must ultimately take action to protect this community of Dreamers.”


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