Appeals court says Trump admin can’t end DACA

Elias Hubbard
November 9, 2018

The Trump administration's Department of Homeland Security ended the policy "based on serious doubts about its legality and the practical implications of maintaining it", the Justice Department wrote in a court filing Monday.

A federal appeals court has ruled that President Donald Trump can not revoke protections enshrined by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, ensuring that the program will continue to benefit its undocumented recipients for the time being.

The ruling from a panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals means a nationwide injunction allowing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to continue will remain in effect.

The U.S. Supreme Court could eventually decide the fate of DACA, which has protected some 700,000 people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families that overstayed visas.

Last year, the Trump administration announced its plan to phase out the program, but federal courts have ruled that the phase-out could not apply retroactively and that the program should be restarted.

Trump's decision to end DACA prompted lawsuits across the nation, including one by California.

In April, a third federal judge, in Washington, D.C., also ruled against the administration.

In January, U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted a request to keep DACA operational while its future was being litigated.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the three-judge panel specified in its ruling that the administration's legal challengers "are likely to succeed on their claim that the rescission of DACA - at least as justified on this record - is arbitrary, capricious or otherwise not in accordance with law".

The administration then asked the 9th Circuit to throw out Alsup's ruling.

Mooppan said the administration was under no obligation to consider the fact that people had come to rely on DACA. "Our decision today does not curb that power, but rather enables its exercise in a manner that is free from legal misconceptions and is democratically accountable to the public", wrote Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, an Obama appointee to the appeals court.

Judge Jacqueline Nguyen questioned whether courts could intervene if they thought DACA was legal and disagreed with the administration's position that it wasn't.

At the same time another court ruled the original DACA program itself was likely illegal. Indeed the Justice Department earlier this month had asked the high court to hear a series of DACA cases even before they were decided in lower courts, saying it was critical the justices tackle the matter this term.

In February, a federal judge in NY also blocked the administration from ending DACA.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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