In an expected move, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) denied the Trump administration a hearing on the DACA challenge, leaving the lower court’s decision in place and allowing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to continue for individuals already in the program, temporarily.
The decision against the Trump administration, which sought to phase off the program starting March 5, 2018, is welcome news for immigrant youth in the programs, who would have lost their work permits and protection against deportation.
The California DACA case can now go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Trump’s Solicitor General Noel Francisco had taken the unusual step of taking a California federal judge’s decision directly to the Supreme Court of the nation, bypassing the appellate court, as if it were an issue of national security, foreign affairs, or a serious issue on the separation of powers.
That type of bypass has taken place only a few times in a century, according to Karen Tumlin, legal director for the National Immigration Law Center and the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund.
Today’s decision by the SCOTUS eases pressure on Congress to quickly bring about a legislative solution. Congress has been unable to come up with a bipartisan solution for the DACA-DREAMers, in part due to high demands imposed by Trump. These demands include more than $25 billion for the border wall, the elimination of the visa lottery and limits to the family reunification program.
The court denied the government’s request that it hear the case without prejudice.
“It is assumed that the court of appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case,” the Supreme Court said in its comments this morning.
Karina Ruiz, president of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, stated her relief but also her frustration. “We are still worried because no new DACA applicants are being accepted. These are lives on the line. Families are at risk of being separated. Congress cannot ignore the urgency to protect those who would qualify for a Dream Act but couldn’t get protection under DACA, especially in this litigation phase.”