Trump administration to ask Supreme Court to let it end DACA

Seeking to force a showdown over the politically charged programme 

Jeremy B. White
San Francisco
Tuesday 16 January 2018 23:53 GMT
Video image Jeff Sessions is reflected in a picture of Donald Trump
Video image Jeff Sessions is reflected in a picture of Donald Trump (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

The Department of Justice will ask the Supreme Court to allow the planned dissolution of a programme that protects young unauthorised immigrants from deportation.

Donald Trump’s decision to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program drew legal challenges from multiple states, and earlier this month California judge William Alsop ordered the administration to revive the initiative. The government has since been compelled to resume accepting DACA renewal requests.

Saying “it defies both law and common sense” for “a single district court in San Francisco” to overrule the administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would seek to definitively settle the matter “quickly and fairly for all the parties involved,” vaulting over an appeals court in a “rare” effort to go directly to the nation’s highest legal forum.

“It is clear that Acting Secretary Duke acted within her discretion to rescind this policy with an orderly wind down,” Mr Sessions said in a press release.

“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,” Mr Sessions said, referring to a separate Obama-era programme that shielded some undocumented parents from deportation and was invalidated by the Supreme Court.

The fate of nearly 800,000 immigrants in the country illegally who secured DACA protection has been at the heart of ongoing negotiations between Mr Trump and Congress over immigration legislation.

While Democrats have urged a “clean” DACA compromise that reanimates the program while deferring thornier questions for another bill, Mr Trump has insisted that any deal include a border wall with Mexico as well as the end of a diversity visa lottery and of a form of family-based migration.

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