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Supreme Court to Consider DACA Appeal

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On Sept. 5, 2017 Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced DACA was being repealed. (US DHS/Flickr)
On Sept. 5, 2017 Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced DACA was being repealed. (US DHS/Flickr)
February 15, 2018

NEW YORK – The U.S. Supreme Court may decide Friday if it will hear oral arguments in the government's appeal of a federal court's order for a nationwide halt to the Trump administration's termination of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA.

A federal district court in Northern California issued the nationwide preliminary injunction in January. It said the repeal of the program that allows undocumented immigrants who arrived as children to work and attend school without fear of deportation was illegal.

In a rare move the Trump administration has sought to appeal that decision directly to the Supreme Court.

According to Trudy Rebert, an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, the high court will be holding a conference on the case this Friday.

"We don't know if they will decide whether they will take it then, but they may,” Rebert explains. “They ordered the briefing on an expedited basis so that they could decide whether they wanted to take it up."

On Tuesday a New York Court also ordered a halt to the termination of DACA. The Trump administration argues that its repeal of DACA is legal.

The New York case was brought by six so-called Dreamers who maintain that the termination of the program is a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Fifth Amendment.

Rebert says Tuesday's ruling means the court believes the plaintiffs are likely to win their case.

"It yet again affirms that the government's decision to terminate DACA was unlawful,” she states. “It also reinforces the need for Congress to pass a Dream Act and a permanent solution for folks with DACA."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called President Barack Obama's implementation of DACA by executive order an unconstitutional exercise of executive authority.

The injunctions mean that the government must allow about 800,000 DACA recipients to apply to renew their status. And Rebert points out that the impact goes far beyond the DACA recipients themselves.

"It also affects their employers and schools where people have extended offers of admission and allowed people credits and things on the basis that people had been planning their lives around DACA," she points out.

Following Tuesday's ruling the Justice Department said it is looking forward to the next stage of litigation in the case.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY