In a “rare step” by the Trump Administration, the Department of Justice announced they will ask the Supreme Court to review a federal judge's decision to temporarily keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in place.
The announcement came on Tuesday, a week after a California federal judge blocked the Trump Administration’s attempt to scrap DACA altogether.
“We are taking the rare step of requesting direct review on the merits of this injunction by the Supreme Court so that this issue may be resolved quickly and fairly for all the parties involved,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a January 16 statement.
On January 10, U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ruled in favor of California and several other states who sued the White House after the Trump administration announced in September they would begin phasing out DACA.
The Trump Administration has already moved to appeal Alsup’s injunction— but the push to secure help from the Supreme Court indicates they’re pulling all the stops to ensure the program is dismantled. If the Supreme Court approved the DOJ's petition, the appeal through the court would no longer be necessary, and DACA could continue to be phased out.
Currently, there are an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients (known as "Dreamers") in the U.S— 124,000 of whom live in Texas. The program allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to obtain driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers, and to live, work and study in the U.S. with two-year permits subject to renewal. Alsup’s temporary injunction keeps in place the protections for DACA recipients while the lawsuits filed by the states continue to play out in court.
Lawmakers in D.C. have been in talks with President Donald Trump over a more permanent solution for DACA recipients, but have yet to come up with concrete, bipartisan legislation that is likely to advance before Congress's Friday deadline to pass a spending bill. If Congress fails to pass a spending bill by Friday, the government will shut down.