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Court Looks Ready to Give Trump Wish on Immigrants

But we won't know fate of DACA for sure until the spring
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2019 9:15 AM CST
Updated Nov 12, 2019 2:22 PM CST
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People wait in line outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Monday to be able to attend oral arguments in the DACA case.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – It's a big day for Dreamers—the nickname given to young US immigrants brought here illegally by their parents. The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments on whether the Trump administration can end an Obama-era program that protects the immigrants from deportation and allows them to work legally. No decision on the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is expected until the spring. While most coverage suggests the court is poised to let the White House end the program, there also seems to be plenty of gray area involved. DACA currently affects about 660,000 people. Coverage:

  • The issue: Obama used his executive power to put DACA in place in 2012, a move Republicans criticized as overreach, per the "Playbook" blog. Trump announced in 2017 that he'd end the program, but lower courts have blocked that from happening. Now the Supreme Court is weighing in.
  • The bottom line: The New York Times said the court's five conservative justices "appeared ready to side with the Trump administration," and USA Today agreed ("appeared likely to side ..."), as did the National Review ("seemed ready to uphold the Trump administration's decision ...").
  • But: An assessment at the reliable SCOTUSblog puts it thusly: "After roughly 80 minutes of debate in a packed courtroom ... it wasn’t clear how the case is likely to turn out," writes Amy Howe. "Several justices appeared concerned that the Trump administration’s decision-making process had not adequately considered the effects of rescinding DACA, but on the other hand they weren’t necessarily convinced that sending the case back for a do-over would actually make much of a difference."

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