November 8, 2018


Appeals court upholds block on Trump's attempt to end DACA (TED HESSON 11/08/2018, Politico)

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a lower court's temporary order preventing President Donald Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Trump's decision to phase out the Obama-era DACA program, which allows roughly 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to obtain work permits and protects them from deportation, was likely "arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with law."

Trump and Republicans made immigration restrictions central to the midterm election campaign. In recent weeks, Trump has suggested he could revoke birthright citizenship by executive order -- a legally contentious proposition -- and ordered a massive troop surge to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The ruling Thursday by a three-judge panel represents a major setback to the administration's anti-immigration agenda. [...]

"The executive wields awesome power in the enforcement of our nation's immigration laws," the ruling reads. "Our decision today does not curb that power, but rather enables its exercise in a manner that is free from legal misconceptions and is democratically accountable to the public."

In a concurring opinion, Judge John Owens disagreed that the DACA termination was reviewable as an "arbitrary and capricious" executive decision. However, he found plaintiffs reasonably alleged the rescission was motivated by racial animus, which warranted a freeze on the termination.

"A merits decision from the district court concluding that the executive rescinded DACA because of unconstitutional racial animus would be little more than an advisory opinion if by that time thousands of young people had lost their status due to the lack of an injunction preserving it," he wrote.

During oral arguments before the 9th Circuit in May, Owens repeatedly raised questions about the possible role of racial bias in the decision to end the program.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, whose state is a party in one of the lawsuits affected by the decision, called the ruling "a tremendous victory" for the program's enrollees.

Posted by at November 8, 2018 6:06 PM