For the second time in two years, the Supreme Court has agreed that the Trump administration has the right to act, but not in the way it acted.
Why it matters: In an unexpected 5-4 victory for immigration activists, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the Department of Homeland Security's decision to rescind DACA in the fall of 2017 was "arbitrary and capricious," reports Axios' Stef Kight.
- "The dispute before the Court is not whether DHS may rescind DACA. All parties agree that it may. The dispute is instead primarily about the procedure the agency followed in doing so," Roberts wrote in the opinion.
- Roberts also wrote that DHS did not properly consider "what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients" if the program were to be terminated.
- DHS response.
DACA recipients were brought to the U.S. illegally as children — under 16 years of age — and many have grown up here.
- Most are in their 20s and early 30s. Nearly half of DACA recipients are 26 years or older, according to data by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- 45% of active DACA recipients were living in California and Texas as of the end of 2019.
The bottom line: The timing of these rulings matters.
- SCOTUS struck down the citizenship question on the census so close to printing time that the administration didn't have time to fight it and was forced to send the census without the question.
- Now it has struck down DACA so close to the November elections that the administration may be unable to act before Election Day.
What's next: "Many folks celebrating over DACA for now, but immigrant rights groups do not see this battle as over," tweeted the N.Y. Times' Jennifer Medina.
- "Advocates see a much bigger fight with Congress and the White House for permanent legal status for the larger universe of undocumented - not just Dreamers."
Go deeper: DACA gets decided (Re:Cap podcast)