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Justice Department to Appeal Ruling That Blocked DACA Shut Down

20 January 2018

President Barack Obama ordered the program into existence in 2012 after Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

In Thursday's filing, the solicitor general said the Supreme Court should bypass the 9th Circuit and take up the case directly.

The Trump administration Thursday night took the unusual step of asking the Supreme Court to immediately review and overturn a judge's ruling that said the administration may not dismantle a program that provides work permits to undocumented immigrants raised in the United States. If the Supreme Court denies the Justice Department's request, it will have to return to the Ninth circuit and ask the court to put the district court's order on hold.

"The district court's unprecedented order requires the government to sanction indefinitely an ongoing violation of federal law being committed by almost 700,000 aliens-and, indeed, to confer on them affirmative benefits (including work authorization)-pursuant to the DACA policy", the brief said. The Supreme Court, however, doesn't typically grant cases without a completed appeals process.

Normally, the government would appeal a district judge's decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The clash now at the court arose last fall, when the Trump administration announced that it would terminate DACA, which would result in some of the 800,000 young adults who qualified for the program becoming eligible to be deported.

"From the start of these suits, all parties involved have agreed that time is of the essence", the brief said. He said then-candidate Donald Trump showed "racial animus" toward Mexicans during the 2016 campaign, and he said since most DACA recipients are Mexican, that tainted the Homeland Security Department's decision a year ago to phase out the deportation amnesty. The high court's rules state that a petition to review a case that's pending in a court of appeals "will be granted only upon a showing that the case is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination".

"And even if it were reviewable now under the APA, the decision to rescind the DACA policy was not arbitrary and capricious".

In September six immigrants filed [JURIST report] a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website], challenging the administration's decision to end DACA by arguing that the Trump administration did not follow proper administrative procedure.

The first group of those so-called dreamers had been set to lose their protected status in March before U.S. District Judge William H. Alsup's order.

Justice Department to Appeal Ruling That Blocked DACA Shut Down