November 22, 2020

Policy Summary

In June 2020, the Supreme Court barred the Trump Administration from carrying out a plan to shut down DACA (see brief #95). The Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allowed nearly 800,000 young people – “Dreamers” – to avoid deportation and remain in the United States to work and study.

In July, the Department of Homeland Security – under Acting Secretary, Chad Wolf – issued a memorandum that effectively suspended the DACA program. The memorandum violated the Administrative Procedure Act and was capricious in nature. Last week, a Federal Judge in New York upheld this decision and declared the memorandum unlawful as Wolf was not lawfully serving as Acting Secretary. He was installed as a part of a series of several hasty actions to get people to the top of the Department through circumventing standard procedures. Therefore, he not only lacked the authority to hold his temporary position, but his actions were also void.

This decision serves as an undeniable reminder that the Trump Administration is not exempt from the Rule of Law and cannot bypass official procedures. The efforts to reverse the DACA program were amongst its greatest pledges and the Supreme Court judgment firmly asserts the American Dream and core values are more important than acquiescing to a fanatical administration. President Elect Joe Biden has vowed to reinstate the original Obama era program when he assumes office.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • World Health Organization: the WHO provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and global responses
  • Center for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses
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