Supreme Court’s DACA decision provides relief, but does not give Congress a pass; Action is needed now

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The June 18 Supreme Court ruling stops the administration from terminating DACA, but Congress must still take immediate action.

“While we are grateful that today’s Supreme Court decision stops the administration from terminating DACA, this movement is far from over,” said CLINIC Executive Director Anna Gallagher. “Congress must act now to reflect the will of the people in this democracy and to make official what is true — DACA recipients are Americans and this is their home.”

CLINIC’s Board Chair, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, said: “Just as the church has stood by immigrants and refugees throughout our nation’s history, we will walk alongside our brothers and sisters who have DACA during the legal steps ahead. This ruling gives a reprieve to DACA holders, but Congress should quickly pass legislation granting these Americans a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship.”

The decision affects more than 700,000 people from around the world and their families, tens of thousands of whom are working in essential industries during the coronavirus pandemic. The 5-4 ruling said the administration’s attempt to rescind DACA was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the Administrative Procedure Act. CLINIC joined an amicus brief in the cases, Department of Homeland Security et al., v Regents of the University of California et al. Catholic organizations including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have called for legislative action that would provide DACA recipients with a pathway to citizenship.

“The administration’s immigration policy can be summed up as cruelty for political gain,” said CLINIC’s Advocacy Director Jill Marie Bussey. “They have vilified DACA recipients at every turn, trying to convince people that separating families and ripping people out of their communities and jobs will somehow benefit America. The administration cannot obscure the truth that every DACA recipient is a vital and indispensable member of this nation of immigrants.”

CLINIC, along with the majority of Americans, calls on Congress to act now to protect DACA recipients, to prevent a new family separation crisis and to bring justice to a community that has been forced to wait far too long. 

While Congress takes action, CLINIC urges the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to immediately and completely reinstate 2012 DACA, reopening the program to applicants who have been waiting to apply for DACA’s protections.