Federal appeal court says Trump CANNOT immediately end Obama's DACA

Federal appeals court delivers blow to Trump plans to cancel DACA protections

Federal appeals court delivers blow to Trump plans to cancel DACA protections

DACA, which shields undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children from deportation, has been a frequent target of criticism by President Donald Trump.

A three-judge panel of the USA 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, ruled unanimously in favor of a lower court's preliminary injunction against the administration's attempt to phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

On Monday, the administration took the unusual step of asking the US Supreme Court to review the case, which stems from a federal judge's January decision to block Trump from ending Daca, even though the appeals court had yet to rule.

The US Supreme Court could eventually decide the fate of DACA, which has protected some 700,000 people who were brought to the US illegally as children or came with families that overstayed visas.

"Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claim that the rescission of DACA - at least as justified on this record - is arbitrary, capricious or otherwise not in accordance with law", the three-member federal panel said in its ruling Thursday.

Former President Barack Obama implemented the protections in what has become a highly debated executive order.

"The government may not simultaneously both assert that its actions are legally compelled, based on its interpretation of the law, and avoid review of that assertion by the judicial branch, whose "province and duty" it is 'to say what the law is, ' " Wardlaw said, borrowing the language of the landmark Marbury v. Madison decision.

In February, a federal judge in NY also blocked the administration from ending DACA. "The government is, as always, free to reexamine its policy choices, so long as doing so does not violate an injunction or any freestanding statutory or constitutional protection". In their arguments to the Ninth Circuit, Attorney General Becerra's legal team emphasized the irreparable harm that DACA recipients, their communities and the states would suffer if the program were terminated. The ruling means not only that the Supreme Court is now more likely to take up the DACA dispute, but that it could do so this term.

The administration had been impatiently awaiting the 9th Circuit's decision on DACA, after oral arguments last spring. "The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend its position on this matter, and looks forward to vindicating that position before the Supreme Court".

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

"Today's ruling is yet another blow to the Trump administration's efforts to dismantle DACA, but it may also only be a temporary one", Vladeck told CNN.

Wardlaw said the Obama administration was within its powers to enact DACA because it had to make a choice about how to direct limited resources in deporting undocumented immigrants and chose to spare those who came as children, had not committed crimes and were students or in the military.

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