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Congressman Heck on Supreme Court's DACA Decision

Press Release

Date: June 18, 2020
Location: Olympia, WA
Issues: Immigration

Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) released the following statement in response to today's Supreme Court ruling that the Trump administration was improperly rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

"The Supreme Court correctly stopped the Trump administration from cruelly removing and deporting young people who have relied on DACA protections, people who have known no other home but America and who make meaningful contributions to American society. While today's ruling finds that the administration was wrong in the way it rescinded DACA, it does not foreclose the possibility of DACA being rescinded in the future. President Trump will try again to end this vital program. To protect DREAMers, the Senate must pass the American Dream and Promise Act, legislation I was proud to cosponsor when we passed it in the House last year."

The Supreme Court's ruling found that the Trump administration was "arbitrary and capricious" in its rescission of DACA, which is a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan. The opinion was joined in part by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, H.R. 6, passed the House by a vote of 237-187 on June 4, 2019. Seven Republicans joined Democrats to vote in favor of the legislation.

The DACA program, established in 2012, allowed the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to grant "deferred action" for people in the United States who were brought to the country as a child. The requests to defer removal of an individual are granted on a case-by-case basis, and the deferment provides employment authorization. To be eligible under DACA, a person must have arrived in the United States before their 16th birthday, must be currently in school or have graduated from high school or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States, and they must not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat.

Since 2012, DACA has allowed nearly 800,000 law-abiding young people (DREAMers) to study in U.S. schools, work legally in the U.S., and pay taxes to the U.S. Treasury.