What is the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) policy announced by the Obama administration in 2012? The program provided temporary relief from removal and work authorization for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. DACA is a form of prosecutorial discretion by the executive branch in deciding which undocumented immigrants to focus on in removal efforts. As of the time of its rescission, DACA relief benefited approximately 790,000 recipients. What is at stake? The legal status of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients, their ability to work, and their lives in the United States.
Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of DACA in September 2017. The reason provided for the elimination was that it was unlawful. But, no court had ever found the deferred policy to be unlawful. Numerous lawsuits challenged the cancellation and three courts of appeal found that the cancellation was unlawful. The end of DACA was halted for now.
The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in three DACA cases today. Among the questions before the High Court are: was the rescission of DACA “arbitrary and capricious” in violation of federal administrative law and is DACA lawful.
Kevin R. Johnson, Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicano Studies at UC Davis School of Law will join Insight to discuss the three DACA cases before the court.