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Recapping The Highlights From This Morning’s Supreme Court Hearing On The Future Of DACA




Immigration rights activists take part in a rally in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on November 12, 2019.
Immigration rights activists take part in a rally in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on November 12, 2019.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

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The Supreme Court is taking up the Trump administration's plan to end legal protections that shield 660,000 immigrants from deportation, a case with strong political overtones amid the 2020 presidential election campaign.

The program before the court is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that aimed to bring out of the shadows people who have been in the United States since they were children and are in the country illegally. In some cases, they have no memory of any home other than the U.S. There are two questions before the Supreme Court: whether federal judges can even review the decision to end the program and, if they can, whether the way the administration has gone about winding down DACA is legal. In that sense, the case resembles the dispute over the census citizenship question, which focused on the process the administration used in trying to add the question to the 2020 census. In the end, Roberts wrote that the reason the administration gave for wanting the question "seems to have been contrived."

The Department of Homeland Security is continuing to process two-year DACA renewals so that in June 2020, hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients will have protections stretching beyond the election and even into 2022. If the high court rules for the administration, it is unclear how quickly the program would end or Congress might act.

Guest:

Amy Howe, co-founder of SCOTUSBlog and author of the blog Howe on the Court; she tweets @AHoweBlogger