Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
The Supreme Court had a lot of high-profile cases on its plate this term. One of them is being closely watched by hundreds of thousands of people whose lives in America hang in the balance - the "Dreamers" - who benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
A recent CBS News poll found that 85% of Americans are in favor of allowing children brought to the United States illegally to stay in the country. But the program has long been in the cross-hairs of the Trump Administration. Now, it's up to the Supreme Court to decide how and when the program could end.
The DACA program grants work permits and protection from deportation to people brought into the country illegally as children. Created by President Barack Obama in 2012, nearly 650,000 people are enrolled in the program nationwide.
During his time as Attorney General, Jeff Sessions concluded that President Obama had exceeded his constitutional powers by creating the program through executive order. President Trump announced plans to eliminate the program in 2017, a decision that has faced challenges in the courts ever since.
More than ten lawsuits were filed to block Trump's decision. Claims came from state governments, including New York and California, and the NAACP, as well as the Regents of the University of California.
Although the plaintiffs in these cases acknowledge that new administrations have the authority to replace old policies with new, they argue that the program cannot be phased out without following Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requirements.
The lawsuits focus on two essential questions:
1. Is the decision to rescind DACA judicially reviewable?
2. Did the Department of Homeland Security violate the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act?
Three lower court rulings granted injunctions against the Trump administration, requiring DACA renewal applications to be processed while these cases made their way through the courts.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the preliminary injunctions, finding that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on their claims. The Ninth Circuit also held that neither the Immigration and Nationality Act nor the APA barred judicial review of the decision to end the DACA program.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the challenges in November and is expected to release an opinion any day.