The United States Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the Trump administration’s attempts to void the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted by former President Barack Obama.
On Monday, the justices declined to take up a lawsuit which had been filed by the Trump Justice Department that would have lifted an injunction issued in January by a federal court in the Northern District of California. That injunction prevents the administration from ending DACA while other federal suits are heard in various courts.
The decision from the justices means that DACA will remain in effect beyond the March 5 deadline which had been set by the White House. And it also helps relieve some of the pressure currently on Congress, which is struggling to craft and pass bipartisan legislation that would protect DREAMers who are affected by the status of DACA.
DOJ spokesman Devin O’Malley attempted to downplay the high court’s decision:
“While we were hopeful for a different outcome, the Supreme Court very rarely grants certiorari before judgment, though in our view it was warranted for the extraordinary injunction requiring the Department of Homeland Security to maintain DACA. We will continue to defend DHS’ lawful authority to wind down DACA in an orderly manner.”
In September of last year, Trump decided to end DACA, meaning that some 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children were at risk of losing their protected status and being deported by the Department of Homeland Security after the March 5 deadline.
While the president has said he wants to protect DREAMers, he is also demanding that Congress greatly decrease the number of immigrants allowed into the U.S., and allocate billions of dollars for a wall on the border with Mexico.
“The justices have not granted such a request since 2004, but the government claimed that the urgency of settling the legal status of DACA, and the potential for nationwide confusion, justified such an extraordinary measure.”