Appeals court says Trump admin can't end DACA

Trump administration can't end Obama-era protections for 'dreamers,' federal appeals court rules

Trump administration can't end Obama-era protections for 'dreamers,' federal appeals court rules

A US appeals court in California ruled on November 8 that President Donald Trump's administration must continue a program begun under former President Barack Obama that protects hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who were brought into the country illegally as children.

A three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously kept a preliminary injunction in place against Mr Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme.

The Department of Homeland Security moved to end the program previous year on the advice of just-fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who determined DACA to be unlawful because, he said, President Barack Obama did not have the authority to adopt it in the first place.

The administration then appealed to the Supreme Court to rule on the matter, but the nine justices returned the case to the 9th Circuit.

Judge Jacqueline Nguyen questioned the government's contention that a DACA decision was beyond the authority of the court.

Other Jewish organizations that condemned the decision to end DACA included Bend the Arc, J Street, the National Council of Jewish Women, T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, the Shalom Center and the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.

She said the court is not trying to infringe on the president's power regarding immigration law and instead wants to enable the exercise of that authority "in a manner that is free from legal misconceptions and is democratically accountable to the public".

The ruling stems from a lawsuit brought by the University of California, the states of California, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota and others challenging Trump's move to end Daca. These circuit courts often provide the last word in a legal dispute because the Supreme Court hears only a limited number of cases.

Trump's decision to end it prompted lawsuits across the nation, including one by California.

That said, the judges also declined to dismiss claims that the government's action might violate the constitutional rights of DACA recipients.

San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge William Alsup decided in January that the government must continue processing renewals of existing DACA applications while litigation over the legality of Trump's action was being resolved. He instead wants lawmakers to approve a permanent fix to the dreamer issue in a bill that also includes funding for the proposed wall on the USA border with Mexico, along with terminating chain migration and the draft lottery program.

The 9th Circuit ruled that challengers to the decision to end DACA are likely to succeed in their argument that the planned phase-out is illegal. The Supreme Court previously rejected a similar request to pre-emptively intervene in February.

In addition to the "arbitrary and capricious" challenge under the APA, the appeals court was unanimous in finding a potential Equal Protection claim.

"Had the judge not ruled that way, I think we would have made a deal", Trump said at a news conference.

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