Federal Appeals Court Deals Trump Another Setback On DACA

Appeals court rules against Trump on DACA immigrant policy

The Obama-era program gives deportation protection to immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Thursday concurred with a federal district judge's decision from January that Trump lacked the authority to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, the Associated Press reported.

A liberal-leaning California-based federal appeals court that has often ruled against President Donald Trump dealt him another setback this week in a major immigration case and soon could be asked to weigh in on a pipeline project he has championed.

Trump past year decried the 9th Circuit's "ridiculous" ruling on the travel ban, and said that court has "a bad record of being overturned" by the Supreme Court - an often-made charge that the 9th Circuit's chief judge took issue with in congressional testimony.

The program has always been legally suspect and eight months after Mr. Trump took office, facing the immediate threat of a lawsuit, the administration announced it would attempt a phaseout.

DACA is the 2012 program set up by President Obama that granted a tentative amnesty from deportation to hundreds of thousands of Dreamers - illegal immigrants who came to the U.S.as children, grew up here, and in many cases don't know their home countries.

In January, U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted a request to keep DACA operational while its future was being litigated.

The administration in February unsuccessfully appealed Alsup's ruling to the Supreme Court. "The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend its position on this matter, and looks forward to vindicating that position before the Supreme Court".


Lawyers for the Trump administration have already asked the Supreme Court to review the issue.

The Dreamers also made an Equal Protection constitutional argument that both the panel and concurring Judge John Owens found valid: The Trump administration eliminated DACA out of hostility to Latinos.

Trump's move a year ago had called for the programme to begin winding down this past March.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit blocked the Department of Homeland Security's decision to terminate DACA benefits and discontinue applications. Trump's action sparked an outcry from immigration advocates, business groups, colleges and some religious leaders.

Federal judges in NY and Washington also have ruled against Trump on DACA.

In response, many lawsuits were filed across the US including one in California.

While the federal government might be able to end DACA for policy reasons under its own discretion, it can't do so based on Sessions' faulty belief that the program exceeds federal authority, the court held. The Trump administration is expected to appeal this decision until the issue reaches the highest court.

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