Appeals court says Trump admin can’t end DACA

Appeals court says Trump admin can’t end DACA

Appeals court says Trump admin can’t end DACA

A federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled against the Trump administration Thursday, saying the government can not immediately end the DACA program that gives young undocumented immigrants a chance to continue living and working in the USA without the threat of deportation.

The decision by the San Francisco-based ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals preserves the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme introduced in 2012 that has shielded a group of undocumented immigrants dubbed "Dreamers" from deportation and given them work permits, though not a path to citizenship.

Since the Obama administration first implemented the DACA program in 2012, an estimated 800,000 Americans who were brought to the USA under the age of 16 and have lived in the US since 2007 - often colloquially known as "Dreamers" - have benefitted from its protections, according to the Wall Street Journal.

San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge William Alsup decided in January that the government must continue processing renewals of existing DACA applications while litigation over the legality of Trump's action was being resolved.

Last year President Trump announced his intention to end DACA to avoid a lawsuit by Texas and other states.

An email to the U.S. Department of Justice was not immediately returned. A judge overseeing that lawsuit and four others ruled against the administration and reinstated the program in January.

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".

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

The judges on the 9th Circuit panel appeared skeptical of the argument that the DACA decision was beyond the court's authority to review. "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. The Trump administration is seeking to convince the Supreme Court to consolidate those cases because they make the same substantive objections to the planned DACA rollback, and toss them all out on the merits.

At the same time another court ruled the original DACA program itself was likely illegal.

The administration has been critical of the 9th Circuit and took the unusual step of trying to sidestep it and have the California DACA cases heard directly by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Had the judge not ruled that way, I think we would have made a deal", Trump said at a news conference.

The high court has not responded to that request.

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