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The DACA program protecting ‘Dreamers’ from deportation, explained

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  • The Supreme Court is hearing arguments Tuesday over the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which currently shields some 700,000 young unauthorized immigrants from deportation.
  • President Donald Trump announced the program’s termination in September 2017, but a number of lower courts kept the program intact while the case made its way up to the Supreme Court.
  • Trump issued a bizarre tweet about the program on Tuesday, vowing to protect Dreamers if the court overturns the program, even as he falsely accused some DACA recipients of being “criminals.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments Tuesday on the fate of an Obama-era policy protecting some 700,000 young, unauthorized immigrants known as “Dreamers” from deportation.

The program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, has been in limbo for more than two years after President Donald Trump announced its termination in September 2017.

Since then, DACA has been wrapped up in a complex legal battle involving several lower courts that have ruled to keep much of the program intact until the Supreme Court could make a final decision. During this time, Dreamers have been able to renew their two-year DACA statuses, but no new immigrants were allowed to join the program if they were not previously protected.

The case is set to be one of the most significant the Supreme Court will hear this year, and the decision is expected to fall along typical partisan lines, with the court’s Democratic appointees voting to preserve the program, most of the Republican appointees voting to dismantle it, and Chief Justice John Roberts acting as a potential swing vote.

Trump issued a bizarre tweet about the program on Tuesday, vowing to protect Dreamers if the court overturns the program, even as he falsely accused some DACA recipients of being “criminals.” Immigrants with criminal records are barred from the program.

“Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels.’ Some are very tough, hardened criminals,” he tweeted. “President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!”

Here’s what you need to know about DACA.

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