The Department of Justice is appealing a federal district court judge’s decision to block the Trump administration from ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
DOJ said it filed a notice of their appeal to the 9th Circuit Court and intends later this week to take the “rare” step of asking the Supreme Court to bypass a 9thCircuit Court ruling and rule on the merits of the case so the issue can be “resolved quickly and fairly for all the parties involved.”
The Trump administration filed its appeal 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 currently in the program.
“It defies both law and common sense for DACA—an entirely discretionary non-enforcement policy that was implemented unilaterally by the last administration after Congress rejected similar legislative proposals and courts invalidated the similar DAPA policy—to somehow be mandated nationwide by a single district court in San Francisco,” he said, referring to Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.
Sessions said that former acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke acted within her discretion in winding down the program that some 800,000 immigrants have used to secure work visas and avoid deportation in recent years.
“This was done both to give Congress an opportunity to act on this issue and in light of ongoing litigation in which the injunction against DAPA had already been affirmed by the Supreme Court,” he said.
“We are now taking the rare step of requesting direct review on the merits of this injunction by the Supreme Court so that this issue may be resolved quickly and fairly for all the parties involved.”
The DOJ’s appeal comes while lawmakers on Capitol Hill work to strike a deal to protect those affected by President Trump's decision to end DACA before a March 5 deadline when existing DACA permits would begin to expire.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who brought the lawsuit with the University of California and attorneys general from Maine, Maryland and Minnesota challenging the Trump’s administration’s decision to repeal the program, said he’s confident the injunction will be upheld.
“I am confident the appellate courts will see the logic and justice behind the district court’s issuance of the preliminary injunction against the termination of the DACA program,” he said in a statement.
“The unlawful action by the Trump Administration to terminate DACA impacts the lives and livelihood of hundreds of thousands Dreamers, their colleagues, our universities, our businesses and our economy.”