Court rules against Trump on DACA
A U.S. appeals court blocked President Donald Trump on Thursday from immediately ending an Obama-era program shielding young immigrants from deportation, saying the administration’s decision to phase it out was arbitrary because it was based on a flawed legal theory.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously kept a preliminary injunction in place against Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Lawsuits by California and others challenging the administration’s decision will continue in federal court while the injunction stands.
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.
In Thursday’s ruling, 9th Circuit Judge Kim Wardlaw said California and other plaintiffs were likely to succeed with their claim that the decision to end DACA was arbitrary and capricious.
She said the court was not trying to infringe on the president’s power to enforce immigration law but wanted to enable the exercise of that authority “in a manner that is free from legal misconceptions and is democratically accountable to the public.”
The Trump administration has said it moved to end the program last year because Texas and other states threatened to sue, raising the prospect of a chaotic end to DACA. The administration cited a 2015 ruling by another U.S. appeals court that blocked a separate immigration policy implemented by President Barack Obama.
The 9th Circuit disagreed with the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and said one of its conclusions did not apply to DACA.