Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Appeals court rules against Trump administration on DACA immigration program

Appeals court rules against Trump administration on DACA immigration program

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday chose to keep in place an injunction blocking Trump's decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration took the unusual step of asking the Supreme Court to take up the case even before any federal appeals courts had weighed in.

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.

The 9th Circuit would hear any appeal by Trump's administration of the ruling late on Thursday by a federal judge in Montana blocking construction for environmental reasons of the Keystone XL pipeline project that is created to carry heavy crude oil from Canada to the United States.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the president lacked authority to eliminate those protections.

"To be clear: we do not hold that DACA could not be rescinded as an exercise of Executive Branch discretion", Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw said in the opinion.

Judge Wardlaw was nominated by President Clinton, and Judges Nguyen and Owens were nominated by President Obama. "Once the judge ruled that way, the Democrats didn't want to talk anymore".

The president regularly belittles the 9th Circuit, as he did on Friday after the court's ruling preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. "The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend its position on this matter, and looks forward to vindicating that position before the Supreme Court".

San Francisco-based US District Judge William Alsup decided in January the government must continue processing renewals of existing DACA applications while litigation over the legality of Mr Trump's action is resolved.

The three-judge panel rejected the administration's claim that the decision to end DACA was not reviewable by the courts.

Trump's move previous year had called for the programme to begin winding down this past March. As a result of the preliminary injunction, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services resumed accepting requests to renew deferred action under DACA.

A lawsuit by a group of young Americans, which asserts the US government is harming them by having created a national energy system that causes climate change, is on hold again after a federal appeals court Thursday granted the Trump administration's motion for a temporary stay.

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

The 9th Circuit has handed him defeats on his travel ban targeting people from several Muslim-majority countries and his bid to withhold federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities that limit cooperation on immigration enforcement.

The decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

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