The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, other business groups and companies including Amazon and Google have filed a brief at the U.S. Supreme Court opposing U.S. President Donald Trump’s effort to end a program that protects the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children.

The top court is set to hear arguments on Nov. 12 over Trump’s 2017 plan to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, in 2012. Trump’s move to rescind DACA was blocked by lower courts. The immigrants protected under the program often are called “Dreamers.” 

A decision can be expected as early as next June, in the thick of the 2020 U.S. presidential race.   

Democratic candidates like Joe Biden have come out in support of allowing dreamers to remain in the U.S. by giving them immediate citizenship

On Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook also filed a legal brief in support of DACA. He has openly voiced his support for the policy in the past.  

In June, the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether Trump acted lawfully when he moved to end the program as a key part of his hard-line immigration policies.

The nine justices took up the Trump administration’s appeals of three lower court rulings that blocked his 2017 move to rescind the DACA program implemented in 2012 by Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.

Of the 700,000 immigrants who fall under the program’s protection, the majority are Hispanic young adults.

The program also provides Dreamers with work permits, though not a path to citizenship.

The program has remained in effect despite Trump’s efforts to rescind it, part of his policies that have become a prominent feature of his presidency and his 2020 re-election campaign. Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has backed limits on legal and illegal immigration, and has sought construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Protesters are shown at a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington in January 2018, around the time the Trump administration signalled it planned to end the program that shields individuals who arrived in the U.S. at a young age without legal status. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

The legal question before the Supreme Court was whether the administration properly followed a federal law called the Administrative Procedure Act in Trump’s plan to end DACA.

Three federal district court judges issued orders halting Trump’s move to end DACA in lawsuits challenging the move filed by a group of states, people protected by the program, rights groups and others. The Trump administration has argued Obama exceeded his constitutional powers when he bypassed Congress and created the program.

Trump’s stance on the issue has shifted over the years, but in September 2017, he announced his decision to rescind DACA, planning for phasing out of the Dreamers’ protections starting in March 2018. But courts in California, New York and the District of Columbia directed the administration to continue processing renewals of existing DACA applications while the litigation over the legality of Trump’s action was resolved.

Obama created DACA by executive action in 2012, as what he called “a temporary stop-gap measure,” after the failure in Congress of bipartisan legislation called the Dream Act that would have provided a path to citizenship to young immigrants brought by their parents illegally into the country.