Supreme Court Defers Ruling on DACA

CNN recently reported that the Supreme Court has announced that it will not hear arguments from the Trump Administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). President Trump previously announced that he intended to end DACA by March 5. This announcement by the Supreme Court has the effect of easing the tension in Congress, which would have had to act very quickly to find a solution to the more than 700,000 people residing in the U.S. under DACA.

 

Lawmakers were in a serious bind before the Supreme Court’s recent announcement to postpone hearing arguments on the end of DACA because very little progress had been made in the way of a bipartisan compromise. Both parties remain steadfast in their positions. The Trump Administration had pushed the issue by announcing March 5 as the deadline by which any DACA participants would have to renew their application to the program. The administration announced that it would no longer be accepting new applications or renewing previously filed ones after that date.

 

It is important to keep in mind that the Supreme Court’s announcement does not reflect a ruling on the merits of whether President Trump is allowed to end the DACA program. Rather than considering the issue substantively, the Supreme Court has left it to the lower courts to reach an opinion either way in the meantime. California federal District Judge William Alsup previously ruled that the administration could not end the program, and the administration appealed directly to the Supreme Court instead of appearing before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals first. The next step is that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will consider an appeal from Judge Alsup’s ruling. President Trump said that the Justice Department will continue winding down DACA in the interim in an orderly fashion.

Supreme Court Will Not Hear DACA Case

Last year, President Trump announced that the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals law would be ended on March 5, 2018. At that time, no one would be able to renew their status under the program if they had not already done so. DACA, as the law is referred to, currently covers about 700,000 people who were brought to the United States as children by their parents who were illegal immigrants.

Congress has been debating DACA for many months since the president’s announcement. The Democratic Party even went so far as to allow a government shutdown over DACA. Congress has so far not been able to come to an agreement regarding DACA or immigration reform.

Since the Congress has not been able to come to a resolution regarding DACA, the courts have become involved. Federal Judge William Alsup from the Northern District of California ruled against the Trump administration by stating that renewals must continue to be granted under DACA even past the March 5 deadline.

Usually, any appeals of a district court judge’s ruling would have to be heard by a federal court of appeals. However, the Trump administration wanted to bypass this and take the appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

On Monday, February 26, the Supreme Court refused to hear the Trump administration’s appeal. The Supreme Court ruled that the case must work its way up through regular channels. This means that any appeal will now be heard by the Ninth District Court of Appeals.

For the most part, the Ninth District has not ruled favorably for positions advocated by the Trump administration. The president has been very critical of the court and its decisions.

Legal experts believe that it will take approximately one year for the case to reach the Supreme Court again. Until the ruling is overturned, DACA and its provisions will remain in place.