When President Trump ordered an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017, around 700,000 people who had grown up in this country were suddenly faced with the prospect of deportation. Under DACA, which was implemented by the Obama administration in 2012, many undocumented U.S. residents who were brought illegally to this country as children before 2007 would not be deported and could receive a work permit—as long as they first passed a background check, and had finished high school or served in the military. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions called DACA an unconstitutional executive overreach that sidestepped existing immigration laws. President Trump said DACA recipients were stealing jobs from citizens: “millions of Americans” had been “victimized” by the program.
This June, the Supreme Court ruled five to four that the Trump administration’s decision to end the program was “arbitrary and capricious,” and that the Department of Homeland Security had therefore violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberal Justices and wrote the majority opinion. Roberts has expressed concern that the Supreme Court is perceived as too partisan, but President Trump has no such compunctions: “These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives…. Vote Trump 2020!” he tweeted.