Supreme Court declines Trump request to take up DACA controversy


On Monday, the Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a federal judge's previous order on continuing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — a move which potentially stymies the Trump administration's efforts to end the program.

The Supreme Court declined the request Monday with no justices dissenting. The high court could still weigh in later, but the move suggests the justices want to allow one or more appeals courts to take up the question before considering it.

In an unsigned comment, the Supreme Court denied the unusual request to take up the issue, saying the appeal should move through the normal appellate process. The move kicks the case back to the 9th Circuit in San Francisco.

The Supreme Court said the federal appeals court will “proceed expeditiously to decide this case.”

“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," Department of Justice spokesman Devin O’Malley said.

O'Malley added: "We will continue to defend DHS’ lawful authority to wind down DACA in an orderly manner.”

This action is a mixed bag for the immigrants known as Dreamers. It means that as the legal process grinds on in federal courts, people who received work permits and protection from deportation through DACA will likely be able to keep renewing their participation. The work permits, which grant legal work authority in the U.S., are good for two years.

However, the high court’s decision to pass up the issue for now reduces the urgency of the drive in Congress to craft a legislative solution to the problem. That effort appeared to result in stalemate earlier this month after three different proposals failed to advance in the Senate.

Last month, U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ruled that DACA must remain in place while litigation surrounding the program is ongoing. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in New York ruled earlier this month that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had "erred in concluding that DACA is unconstitutional."

What made the appeal from the Trump Justice Department unusual is that the administration sought to bypass the federal appeals court in San Francisco and go directly to the Supreme Court.

President Trump has set March 5 as the end date for the DACA program, while calling on Congress to come up with a legislative fix.

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