Appeals court to weigh President Trump's decision to end DACA

16 May, 2018, 13:05 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Protestors demonstrate against the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program outside the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena

After the ruling, a furious President Donald Trump tweeted: "It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and nearly always wins before being reversed by higher courts".

The panel of judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Mr. Trump's prolific comments on immigration and DACA may have influenced the decision by then-acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, when she decided last September to phase out DACA.

Last fall the challengers won the first round when Judge William Alsup, of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, issued a preliminary nationwide injunction and ordered that renewals under the program continue. About 40 DACA supporters gathered outside the courthouse, carrying signs that said "Immigrant rights are human rights" and "Our strength stems from our roots". MORE: DACA supporters block intersection in downtown Los Angeles during rally However, the 9th Circuit is widely considered the most liberal of the US appeals courts, making a Trump administration win unlikely. Trump has even said he has considered breaking up the court.

Judges focused on the administration's rationale for ending the program and whether they had authority to intervene rather than exploring the merits of allowing hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to remain in the USA under DACA.

The decision by Trump to end DACA prompted lawsuits across the nation, including one by the state of California. It was not clear when the court would rule.

Judge Jacqueline Nguyen questioned whether courts could intervene if they thought DACA was legal and disagreed with the administration's position that it was unconstitutional.

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Mr. Obama himself said he didn't have powers to create DACA, before reversing and claiming those powers in 2012, setting up a program to grant work permits and Social Security cards to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the USA before age 16, and who had pursued schooling and kept a generally clean criminal record.

"They haven't done that here".

Courts in California, New York and Washington, D.C., have since ruled the phaseout illegal, while a court in Maryland ruled it was legal.

"What we would do in that circumstance is something we're still figuring out", said Hashim Mooppan, the Justice Department lawyer defending the Trump administration.

In court papers, Mooppan also argued the DACA move applies equally to persons of all ethnicities, although like most immigration policies, has a certain disproportionate impact on Latinos from Central and South America.

The administration has been critical of the 9th Circuit and took the unusual step of trying to sidestep the appeals court and have the California DACA cases heard directly by the Supreme Court.

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