Biden Vows to Make DACA Program Permanent, Celebrates Supreme Court Ruling

June 18, 2020 Updated: June 18, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday he will make the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program permanent if he’s elected.

“As President, I will immediately work to make it permanent by sending a bill to Congress on day one of my Administration,” the presumptive Democratic nominee said in a statement. “… I will continue to stand with DACA recipients, their parents, and their families at every step.”

Former President Barack Obama started the DACA program to protect from deportation eligible illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and offer them work permits.

The Department of Homeland Security DHS still processes the two-year DACA renewals for the 650,000 recipients, also known as dreamers, but has stopped accepting new applications since President Donald Trump announced he would terminate the program in 2017.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 on Thursday that the Trump administration can’t end the program for now.

The majority opinion penned by Chief Justice John Roberts said that the administration acted arbitrarily and failed to offer adequate reasons for the termination.

Roberts, who was widely regarded as a conservative, joined the court’s four liberal justices—Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan—to rule for the DACA recipients.

However, Roberts indicated in the opinion that Trump “may” end the DACA program if proper procedures are followed.

“The dispute before the Court is not whether [the Department of Homeland Security] may rescind DACA. All parties agree that it may. The dispute is instead primarily about the procedure the agency followed in doing so,” Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote.

Biden joined other Democrats to celebrate the Supreme Court decision.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling today is a victory made possible by the courage and resilience of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients who bravely stood up and refused to be ignored,” he said.

The decision was vehemently denounced by Trump and Republicans.

“The recent Supreme Court decisions, not only on DACA, Sanctuary Cities, Census, and others, tell you only one thing, we need NEW JUSTICES of the Supreme Court. If the Radical Left Democrats assume power, your Second Amendment, Right to Life, Secure Borders, and Religious Liberty, among many other things, are OVER and GONE!” Trump wrote in a Twitter post.

The president added that his administration will “start this process all over again” to reach a legal solution on DACA, in a follow-up tweet.

He didn’t elaborate on his plans. But Trump said in November 2019 that Republicans and Democrats would have a deal to let DACA recipients remain in the United States.

“If the Supreme Court upholds DACA…If they do what is right and do not let DACA stand, with all of its negative legal implications, the Republicans and Democrats will have a DEAL to let them stay in our Country, in very short order. It would actually benefit DACA, and be done the right way!” he said at the time.

The Associated Press contributed to the report.

Follow Allen on Twitter: @AllenZM