U.S. Supreme Court Rules Rescission of DACA Was ‘Arbitrary and Capricious’

June 18, 2020

Cleary Gottlieb joins The Legal Aid Society and other nonprofit legal services organizations in lauding the important June 18, 2020, decision of the U.S. Supreme Court finding that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to rescind the immigration relief program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was arbitrary and capricious.

Together with Legal Aid and other nonprofit legal services organizations, Cleary and Cooley LLP had filed a “friend of the court” brief in October 2019 in support of DACA recipients. The brief, which was signed by 47 organizations that provide legal assistance on immigration issues to low-income immigrants across the country, focused on the argument that the government failed to consider how rescinding DACA would detrimentally affect those who relied on the program.

In an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court explained that the rescission of DACA is reviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). After concluding the Court had the power to review DHS’s rescission of DACA, Chief Justice Roberts explained that such action was arbitrary and capricious under the APA because the contemporaneous reasoning of former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke failed to account for important aspects of the problems before the agency, including the reliance interests of the parties involved.

To read Legal Aid’s press release on the Supreme Court’s ruling, click here. To view the amicus brief in support of DACA recipients, click here.