US Supreme Court Blocks Rescission of DACA, Tracking Arguments Cooley Advanced for Legal Services Clients

Palo Alto – June 22, 2020 – The US Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration from rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, siding with arguments Cooley made in an amicus brief on behalf of dozens of legal services organizations, urging the justices to uphold protections for young immigrants.

In a 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. writing for the majority, the Supreme Court found that DHS’ decision in 2017 to rescind the DACA program was arbitrary and capricious. The program, implemented under former President Barack Obama, offers deportation relief and work authorization to young immigrants brought to the US as children.

“We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “Here the agency failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what if anything to do about the hardship to DACA recipients. That dual failure raises doubts about whether the agency appreciated the scope of its discretion or exercised that discretion in a reasonable manner.”

In part, the majority found DHS’ rescission failed to address whether there was legitimate reliance on DACA, aligning with arguments advanced by a Cooley team including Maureen Alger, Monique Sherman, Mary Kathryn Kelley and Kyle Wong in an amicus brief on behalf of dozens of legal services organizations that provide assistance to low-income immigrants.

“The reliance interests at stake here are substantial because hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have no choice other than to rely upon the continuation of DACA,” the Cooley team wrote alongside co-counsel. “The rescission of DACA would inflict very real, tangible damage on hundreds of thousands of people who came forward to be counted and to contribute to this nation, on their dependents, and on the legal services organizations that work tirelessly to serve this community.”

Read the Supreme Court’s order >

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Related Contacts
Maureen Alger Partner, Palo Alto
Monique Sherman Pro Bono Counsel, Palo Alto
Mary Kathryn Kelley Pro Bono Counsel, San Diego
Kyle Wong Special Counsel, San Francisco
Dustin Knight Associate, Reston
Audrey Mott-Smith Associate, San Francisco
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