Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Legality of Trump Administration’s Move to End DACA November 13, 2019 Section 1 Content Policy protects nearly 800,000 young immigrants, many of whom are college studentsThe Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday on whether President Trump’s decision to rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy was done legally, the culmination of two years of legal action since the administration first announced in 2017 that it would end the program. DACA provides temporary legal status and protection from deportation for nearly 800,000 young people known as Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. The case involves a trio of related disputes, with ACE members Princeton University and University of California among the parties.Presidents have broad leeway to roll back initiatives implemented by their predecessors, but they must “provide a reasoned explanation for the change,” and their actions cannot be “arbitrary and capricious,” as Slate reported last night. After then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in August 2017 that DACA would be rescinded, a number of colleges and universities, states, nonprofits, and Dreamers themselves filed a lawsuit alleging that the administration’s actions did not pass this test. Three federal district courts agreed, blocking the repeal. Consensus this morning among the media and court watchers was that the high court’s conservative judges sounded inclined to clear the way for the administration to end the policy. Given the conservative majority on the court, the best hope for DACA’s survival likely depends on Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., as The Washington Post and others noted.However, the president’s solicitor general, Noel Francisco, ran into steady criticism from the court’s four liberal justices during the hearing, so a definitive outcome is not at all clear. Inside Higher Ed wrote that “Perhaps the sharpest moment in the hearing came when Sonia Sotomayor, a member of the court's liberal wing, questioned the government's legal arguments and asked where the government had articulated clearly what she characterized as a political decision. ‘That this is not about the law; this is about our choice to destroy lives,’ she said.”Last month, ACE and 43 other higher education associations submitted an amicus brief in the case, writing that “DACA has been a symbol of tolerance and openness of our university campuses" and that rescinding the policy would broadcast a “message of exclusion" to other foreign-born students that would “irreparably damage the reputation of America's higher education system in the eyes of the world."The ACE brief also speaks to significant legal issues regarding the government's contention that the executive branch's decision to rescind DACA is wholly exempt from judicial review, a subject that was intensely addressed during oral argument. “Sanctioning that remarkable argument would threaten to immunize from legal scrutiny numerous other major decisions disguised as 'enforcement policies' that impact our higher education system," the brief says. Francisco told the justices that the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to end DACA is not subject to judicial review at all. Theodore Olson, arguing in support of DACA, urged the court to start with the “strong presumption” that the federal agency’s actions are reviewable.A final ruling in the case is not expected until spring or summer 2020.BackgroundPresident Obama established the DACA policy by executive action in June 2012. DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States at a young age to become eligible for a work permit, a Social Security card, a driver's license, and deferred deportation. About 350,000 young people with DACA status are in school or pursuing higher education.The Trump administration rescinded the policy Sept. 5, 2017, but delayed ending it until March 5, 2018. In granting a six-month delay, the president asked Congress to pass legislation to provide a permanent solution for those currently protected under DACA. Congress has not yet acted, but DACA in the years since has been kept alive by court decisions, leaving these individuals in political and legal limbo. In a statement when the Supreme Court took up the case, ACE President Ted Mitchell said it “only underscores the urgent need for Congress to act now to pass a long-term, bipartisan solution to protect Dreamers. Because it could easily be a year before we have a final decision by the Court, this is not an excuse for inaction by lawmakers." The House in June approved legislation—the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6)—that would provide a long-term legislative fix for Dreamers, as well as those with Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure, who have seen their status rescinded and also live in uncertainty.Earlier this year, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the bipartisan Dream Act of 2019 (S. 874), a bill that would allow many Dreamers to earn lawful permanent residence in the United States and a path to citizenship, but the Senate so far has failed to take action on either this or the House-passed bill.Dreamers Advocacy EffortsACE sent a letter in June on behalf of 43 organizations to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) requesting they make passage of legislation providing permanent protections for Dreamers a priority.Most recently, more than 600 college and university presidents signed their institutions on to a letter sent to Capitol Hill Sept. 16, urging Congress to act now on protecting Dreamers, and not to wait for the Supreme Court to decide the issue. The letter, organized by ACE with assistance from a number of other higher education associations, urges lawmakers to “come together on a bipartisan basis to address this challenge by doing the right thing for these outstanding young people and for our country."For more information on DACA and Dreamers, see the Protect Dreamers Higher Education Coalition webpage. Section 2 Content Section 3 Content Section 4 Content Section 5 Content Section 6 Content Button Content Rail Content 1Related ContentTrump Administration Defends Ending DACA, and Supreme Court’s Conservatives Seemed ReceptiveThe Washington Post (sub. req.) | Nov. 12, 2019Argument Analysis: Justices Torn, Hard to Read in Challenge to Decision to End DACASCOTUSBlog Supreme Court Takes Up DACAInside Higher Ed | Nov. 13, 2019The Supreme Court Seems Ready to Let Trump Kill DACASlate | Nov. 13, 2019Amicus Brief on Deferred Action for Childhood ArrivalsFrom ACE and 43 other higher education associationsMemorandum on Rescission Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA)Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Supreme Court Decision to Take Up DACAProtect Dreamers Higher Education CoalitionDedicated to housing information and resources to help campus leaders, staff, faculty and students advocate to Congress on behalf of Dreamers, young people brought to the United States as children and raised as Americans but living under threat of deportation. Rail Content 2 Rail Content 3 Related Statement August 1, 2022 The outcome of these cases will have a profound and direct impact on our nation’s colleges and universities, their students, and, ultimately, this country’s global competitiveness. Read More Statement August 1, 2022 Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Importance of Supreme Court Continuing to Recognize the Legality and Value of Race-Conscious Admissions Policies News August 1, 2022 The associations are calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to reject calls for a so-called “race-neutral” regime made in lawsuits filed by the activist group Students for Fair Admissions challenging the admissions processes of Harvard and UNC. Read More News August 1, 2022 ACE Leads 40 Associations Urging the Supreme Court to Reaffirm the Legality and Value of Race-Conscious Admissions News June 13, 2022 June 15 marks 10 years since President Barack Obama announced an executive memorandum creating DACA, an initiative that has provided some protection and work authorization for over 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Read More News June 13, 2022 DACA Is Now 10 Years Old. What Does the Future Hold? News June 8, 2022 ACE and 12 other higher education associations have submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the case Johnson v. the NCAA regarding whether NCAA Division I student-athletes should be considered employees. Read More News June 8, 2022 ACE, Other Higher Ed Groups Call on Courts to Define Student-Athletes as Students, Not Employees Podcast March 25, 2022 ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle joins host Sarah Spreitzer to discuss Congress’s last-minute push to pass the FY 2022 omnibus spending package and what it means for higher education ED's final negotiated rulemaking session. Read More Podcast March 25, 2022 Congress Springs Forward and Passes Spending Bill; New Regulations Coming Webinar March 23, 2022 Join ACE’s Terry W. Hartle, Jon Fansmith, and Sarah Spreitzer to discuss higher education plans in the new spending bill passed last week by Congress and more. (Recording available) Read More Webinar March 23, 2022 Public Policy Pop-Up: Congress Springs Forward News March 7, 2022 The Biden administration has announced that it will allow Ukrainians who are in the United States as of March 1 to remain in the country for 18 months under a designation known as Temporary Protected Status. Read More News March 7, 2022 Biden Administration Extends Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainians in the U.S. Podcast January 27, 2022 ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle joins hosts Jon Fansmith and Sarah Spreitzer of the ACE government relations team to discuss what Congress still needs to finish from 2021. Read More Podcast January 27, 2022 Higher Ed in 2022: Unfinished Business and Election Year Politics News January 24, 2022 The White House has announced a number of positive changes to programs for international students and scholars in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Read More News January 24, 2022 DHS, State Announce Regulatory Changes to Attract More International Students and Scholars News January 4, 2022 In good news for international students, the Department of State announced before the holiday break that consular offices would have more flexibility in determining non-immigrant intent for F-1 and M-1 student visa applicants Read More News January 4, 2022 Biden Administration Revises Regulations to Ease Entry for International Students News December 17, 2021 The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has granted an extension to April 30, 2022, of the COVID-19 related flexibilities related to Form I-9 compliance. Read More News December 17, 2021 Federal Government Extends I-9 Compliance Flexibility Podcast December 16, 2021 ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle reviews the higher education policy successes and failures of 2021, and what we can expect from Congress and the administration in 2022. Read More Podcast December 16, 2021 2021 in Higher Education Policy (A Good Year, Not a Great One) News December 13, 2021 In the latest development on vaccine mandates, a federal district court in Georgia last week blocked President Biden’s mandate for millions of federal contractors’ employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Read More News December 13, 2021 Legal Challenges Complicate Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors, Including Universities News November 29, 2021 ACE and 45 other higher education associations have submitted sent comments to the Department of Homeland Security on the draft rules released in September to strengthen the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Read More News November 29, 2021 ACE, 45 Other Groups Praise Biden Administration’s Effort to “Protect and Fortify” DACA Podcast November 19, 2021 In this live conversation, hosts Jon Fansmith and Sarah Spreitzer discuss the status of the Build Back Better Act and more as Congress pushes toward the end of the year with a lengthy to-do list. Read More Podcast November 19, 2021 End of Year Countdown: What’s on the Congressional Agenda for Students and Colleges News November 17, 2021 In response to the hundreds of tuition refund class action lawsuits filed against colleges and universities, ACE and 18 other associations have filed amicus briefs to clarify the financial impact of the pandemic on higher education institutions. Read More News November 17, 2021 ACE, Other Higher Education Associations File Briefs Correcting Tuition Refund Lawsuits’ False “Windfall” Claims Statement November 15, 2021 Higher education associations issued a statement urging the U.S. government to partner with the higher education community to develop and implement a national strategy to return international student enrollment and exchanges to pre-COVID 19 numbers. Read More Statement November 15, 2021 U.S. Higher Education Community Calls for a Return to Pre-COVID 19 International Student Enrollment Numbers News November 15, 2021 ACE and seven other organizations issued a statement urging the federal government to engage in efforts with the higher education community to return international student enrollment to pre-pandemic numbers and support policies that encourage growth. Read More News November 15, 2021 Higher Education Organizations Call for Federal Support of International Students Podcast November 4, 2021 With the House heading toward a vote on the Biden administration’s domestic spending plan, the hosts talk about what is in the bill for higher education and speak with Morgan Taylor about ACE’s latest Pulse Point survey of college presidents. Read More Podcast November 4, 2021 Higher Ed Waits for Congress to Act; ACE Takes Pulse of College Presidents Statement October 28, 2021 We are appreciative of the higher education support that is included in this legislation and will work closely with the administration and Congress to build on this beginning. Read More Statement October 28, 2021 Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Reconciliation Legislation Agreement Podcast October 21, 2021 he hosts look at what we know so far about the higher ed provisions in the budget reconciliation bill, the future of Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and the president's order mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for federal contractors. Read More Podcast October 21, 2021 Capitol Hill Fall Showdown: Will Higher Ed Get Left Behind?