The United States Supreme Court has blocked President Donald Trump’s bid to scrap the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme (DACA).
Initiated by the administration of former President Barack Obama in 2012, DACA protected undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children from deportation.
The ruling was a huge relief for nearly 800,000 beneficiaries known as “dreamers”, according to local media reports.
DACA gave them opportunity to work legally in the U.S., provided they followed the rules and had a clean record.
The apex court’s decision came in a 5-4 ruling, delivered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr, who was reportedly joined by four liberal justices.
Roberts said the Trump administration did not follow procedures required by law in its attempt to end the programme.
The administration, he added, did not properly consider how scrapping DACA would affect those relying on its protections against deportation, and the ability to work legally.
“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies.
“We address only whether the Department of Homeland Security complied with the procedural requirement that it provides a reasoned explanation for its action.
“Here the agency failed to consider the conspicuous issues of whether to retain forbearance and what of 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,” he said.