Court blocks Trump on immediate end to DACA
SAN F RANCI S CO » 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 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 phase out 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 remains in place.
The U.S. Supreme Court could eventually decide the fate of DACA, which has protected 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 it 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 that 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.
An email to the U.S. Department of Justice seeking comment was not returned.
Trump’s controversial decision to end DACA prompted lawsuits across the nation, including one by California. A judge overseeing that lawsuit and four others ruled against the administration and reinstated the program in January.