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Justice Department to appeal court's DACA ruling

The Hill logo The Hill 1/16/2018 Lydia Wheeler
a group of people holding a sign posing for the camera © Provided by The Hill The Department of Justice is appealing a federal district court judge's decision to block the Trump administration from ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The department said it filed a notice of its appeal to the 9th Circuit Court and intends later this week to ask the Supreme Court to rule on the merits of the case so the issue can be "resolved quickly and fairly for all the parties involved."

The Trump administration filed its appeal a week after a federal district court judge in San Francisco said the Obama-era program must remain in place and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must continue to accept renewal applications from immigrants currently in the program.

In a statement Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions questioned the legality of the ruling.

"It defies both law and common sense for DACA-an entirely discretionary non-enforcement policy that was implemented unilaterally by the last administration after Congress rejected similar legislative proposals and courts invalidated the similar DAPA policy-to somehow be mandated nationwide by a single district court in San Francisco," he said, referring to Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.

Sessions said that former acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke acted within her discretion in winding down the program that some 800,000 immigrants have used to secure work visas and avoid deportation in recent years.

"This was done both to give Congress an opportunity to act on this issue and in light of ongoing litigation in which the injunction against DAPA had already been affirmed by the Supreme Court," he said.

"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."

The DOJ's appeal comes while lawmakers on Capitol Hill work to strike a deal to protect those affected by President Trump's decision to end DACA before a March 5 deadline when existing DACA permits would begin to expire.


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