A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a nationwide injunction against the Trump administration’s attempt to revoke deportation protections for some 700,000 young “Dreamers” who were brought into the United States illegally as children.
Jeff Sessions, who until Wednesday was President Trump’s attorney general, announced in September that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would end gradually over six months, prompting legal challenges and protests. Mr. Trump has criticized the program, known as DACA, as an “amnesty-first approach,” and said that President Barack Obama had overstepped his authority by introducing it.
Thursday’s ruling, from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, was the first time that a federal circuit court had weighed in at this stage on one of the country’s most contentious immigration issues. It brought DACA closer to review by the United States Supreme Court, which ultimately will have to resolve the various legal claims swirling around the program.
The review may already be on a faster track after the Trump administration earlier this week petitioned the Supreme Court to consider the issue immediately, without waiting for rulings in the lower courts. The Supreme Court in February had denied a previous request for expedited review, signaling that the justices at least at that point had preferred to wait for appellate courts to weigh in.