WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on June 28 to decide whether President Donald Trump acted lawfully when he moved to end a program that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children, a key element of his hardline immigration policies.
The nine justices took up the Trump administration’s appeals of lower court rulings in California, New York and the District of Columbia that blocked as unlawful his 2017 plan to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program implemented in 2012 by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.
The program currently shields about 700,000 immigrants often called “Dreamers,” mostly Hispanic young adults, from deportation and provides them work permits, though not a path to citizenship.
The conservative-majority Supreme Court will hear arguments and issue a ruling during its next term, which starts in October and runs through June 2020, meaning a decision could come in the thick of next year’s presidential race in which Trump is seeking re-election. Democratic presidential candidates including front-runner Joe Biden have pledged actions to protect the Dreamers and offer them citizenship.