THE Justice Department said on Tuesday, January 16, that it would ask the Supreme Court to overturn a California judge’s ruling in a move it described as a “rare step.”
The overturn would provide a way for the Trump administration to put an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has taken center stage in the country’s most pressing legal disputes.
The administration said it appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, an injunction made last week by San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge William Alsup.
On Tuesday, January 9, Alsup blocked Trump’s plan to end DACA protections, allowing those previously protected by the program to apply to renew their status. The ruling does not though, require the government to accept new applications.
In carrying out the ruling, Alsup said the plaintiffs “have clearly demonstrated that they are likely to suffer serious irreparable harm absent from injunction.”
“Before DACA, Individual Plaintiffs, brought to America as children, faced a tough set of live and career choices turning on the comparative probabilities of being deported versus remaining here,” he said in his decision. “DACA gave them a more tolerable set of choices, including joining the mainstream workforce.”
Now, the Justice Department said it will also be petitioning the Supreme Court to intervene the case later this week.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that the ruling “defies both law and common sense.”
“We are now taking the rare step of requesting direct review on the merits of this injunction by the Supreme Court so that this issue may be resolved quickly and fairly for all the parties involved,” said Sessions.
Sessions had announced the federal protection’s end in September 2017, before giving Congress six months to find a fix. That gives Congressional members until March 5 to make a decision.
The action comes as Capitol Hill approaches a January 19 deadline for avoiding what could be the first government shutdown since 2013. Advocates for the nearly 800,000 (former) DREAMers have been pushing for a DACA fix to be included in the solution.
Filipino Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who outed himself as an illegal immigrant in a 2011 essay in the New York Times Magazine, took to Instagram Tuesday encouraging those that may be affected to take a vacation day from work and get needed paperwork done.
“If you’re an employer, I encourage your teammates to prioritize this (and not have them request a vacation day but just do it),” said Vargas.
“As predicted, Jeff Sessions just provided notice of their intent to appeal directly to the Supreme Court on the CA decision so we have no idea to know if this re-application window will close and if yes how quickly,” he added. “Not trying to induce panic, just trying to induce expeditious behavior in a very unknown crazy unfair and cruel period of time.”
According to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, nearly 5,000 applications from undocumented Filipinos have been approved since 2012 when the program was established by former President Barack Obama.
Trump had rejected last Thursday, January 11, a bipartisan proposal for DACA that was introduced by Democratic Senators Richard Durbin, Michael Bennett, and Robert Menendez and Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, and Cory Gardner.
The six said in a statement before the deal was rejected that they had “reached an agreement in principle that addresses border security, the diversity visa lottery, chain migration/family reunification and the DREAM Act.”
In a succession of tweets posted Friday, January 12, Trump called the proposal a “big step backwards.” He argued that it did not fund the wall, it slackened policies family-based immigration “chain migration,” as well as the diversity visa lottery system. He maintained he wanted a merit-based system of immigration. (Rae Ann Varona/AJPress)