June 28 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court agreed Friday to take up the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in a controversial case that could decide the fate of more than 600,000 undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children.
The Obama administration started the DACA program allowing children, known as Dreamers, to stay in country because they grew up here and had no affiliation with their country of birth. The Trump administration has sought to end the program, which could mean thousands of deportations. Three federal district courts and two appeals courts blocked Trump from ending the program.
The high court agreed to take up the case when the court reconvenes in October and, based on the court's conservative majority, that could signal a win for President Donald Trump. But Chief Justice John Roberts on Thursday sided with the liberal minority to block the Trump administration from placing a question about citizenship status on the 2020 Census, a policy seen as discriminatory against Hispanics.
The final ruling could be a year away. The justices had previously stayed out of the case but decided to take up the issue, ordering the three cases be consolidated into one.
The DACA program has protected 670,000 undocumented immigrants since the Obama administration started it in 2012.
Trump initially wanted to end the program in 2017 but he gave Congress six months to reach a compromise on how to wind the program down. That led to a brief government shutdown but no real progress on a new law for Dreamers.
Trump supporters have said Obama started DACA without congressional approval so Trump can end it the same way.