Trump administration appeals against 'Dreamer' immigrant ruling to top court

Trump administration appeals against 'Dreamer' immigrant ruling to top court

Despite Sessions' request to go straight to the Supreme Court, the case must first go through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has previously blocked President Donald Trump's other immigration policies, such as a ban on immigration from certain majority-Muslim countries.

Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice said in a court filing that they were appealing the January 9 ruling by a federal judge preventing President Donald Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. That would be unusual because the justices usually wait for an appeals court to act before accepting a case, and because it is late in the game for the court to add cases to its oral argument calendar which ends in April.

Even if the case was put on a fast track, Francisco said, the process "would entail many months of delay, during which time the district-court injunction would require the government to retain in place a discretionary policy that sanctions the ongoing violation of federal law by more than half a million people".

The appeal comes a week after a federal district court judge in San Francisco said the Obama-era program must remain in place and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must continue to accept renewal applications from immigrants now in the program.

President Barack Obama established the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, by executive order in 2012.

Since the DACA program began in 2012 under the Obama administration, almost 800,000 unauthorized immigrants have been granted protection at some point.

The petition is highly unusual, as the government bypassed the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and asked the justices to hear the case in the near future - but the administration argues that the move is justifiable, as the lower court order "requires the government to sanction indefinitely an ongoing violation of federal law being committed by almost 700,000 aliens". It allows those who entered the United States without authorization before age 16, had lived in the US for at least five years, had attended school or served in the military, and who had no serious criminal records to apply for renewable two-year reprieves from deportation and work permits.

In his 49-page ruling, Alsup said "plaintiffs have shown that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the rescission was arbitrary and capricious" and must be set aside under the federal Administrative Procedures Act. Those states had successfully challenged another Obama order that would have shielded parents of legal USA residents from deportation. Both he and the attorney general have repeatedly called on Congress to come up with a solution to the status of DACA recipients.

"If there is one group in the nation that does not pose a threat to national security or public safety, it's the 'Dreamers, '" said attorney Mark Rosenbaum of the nonprofit organization Public Counsel, referring to the young people in the program. The system is led by Janet Napolitano, the former secretary of Homeland Security who presided over DACA's original promulgation during the Obama administration.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement Tuesday that he was "confident the appellate courts will see the logic and justice behind the district court's issuance of the preliminary injunction".

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