U.S. Ap­peals Court Rules Against Trump on DACA Im­mi­gra­tion Pro­gram

Iran News - - INTERNATIONAL -

WASH­ING­TON (Reuters) - A U.S. ap­peals court in Cal­i­for­nia ruled on Thurs­day that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion must con­tinue a pro­gramme be­gun un­der for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama that pro­tects hun­dreds of thou­sands of il­le­gal im­mi­grants who were brought into the coun­try as chil­dren.

The de­ci­sion by the San Fran­cisco-based 9th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals pre­serves the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals (DACA) pro­gram in­tro­duced in 2012 that has shielded from de­por­ta­tion a group of im­mi­grants dubbed “Dream­ers” and has given them work per­mits, though not a path to cit­i­zen­ship.

Trump has taken a stern stance against il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion. His ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced plans in Septem­ber 2017 to phase out DACA, ar­gu­ing that Obama ex­ceeded his con­sti­tu­tional pow­ers when he by­passed Con­gress and cre­ated the pro­gram. DACA cur­rently pro­tects roughly 700,000 young adults, mostly His­pan­ics, with the num­ber pre­vi­ously as high as about 800,000 peo­ple. The three-judge panel unan­i­mously up­held a fed­eral judge’s Jan­uary in­junc­tion main­tain­ing the pro­gram, re­ject­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s claim that the de­ci­sion to end DACA was not re­view­able by the courts.

The rul­ing stems from a law­suit brought by the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, the states of Cal­i­for­nia, Maine, Mary­land and Min­nesota and oth­ers chal­leng­ing Trump’s move to end DACA. The judges said the plain­tiffs made a plau­si­ble case that the Repub­li­can pres­i­dent’s plan vi­o­lates the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion’s guar­an­tee of equal pro­tec­tion un­der the law. The plain­tiffs pro­vided ev­i­dence of “dis­crim­i­na­tory mo­ti­va­tion, in­clud­ing the rescis­sion or­der’s dis­parate im­pact on Lati­nos and per­sons of Mex­i­can her­itage,” Judge Kim McLane Ward­law write in the opin­ion.

Ward­law was ap­pointed by Demo­cratic for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton. The other two judges, John Owens and Jac­que­line Nguyen, were ap­pointed by Obama, a Demo­crat. Ward­law and Nguyen also said the plain­tiffs would likely win on their claim that re­scind­ing DACA would vi­o­late fed­eral ad­min­is­tra­tive law.

The rul­ing rep­re­sented an­other le­gal de­feat for Trump con­cern­ing DACA, although he has won court vic­to­ries on other parts of his tough im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies.

“An­other fed­eral court has said what we’ve al­ways known: that Trump’s de­ci­sion to kill DACA was wrong and that his sole mo­ti­va­tion was to de­port 800,000 peo­ple of colour,” said Sanaa Abrar of the group United We Dream, which ad­vo­cates for DACA re­cip­i­ents.

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