The Trump administration is urging the Supreme Court to decide by the end of next month whether it can hear arguments on ending the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program allows children who were brought to the United States illegally to apply for protection against deportation.
Such action could mean the court hears oral arguments and issues a decision in the middle of the 2020 presidential election.
As things stand, lower courts have ruled against the administration’s attempts to rescind the program and issued a nationwide injunction that keeps it on the books, and the Supreme Court has not acted upon a longstanding request from the Justice Department to take up the issue.
“Twenty months ago, DHS determined, in accordance with the views of the Attorney General that DACA, a discretionary policy of immigration non-enforcement, was unlawful, ill-advised, and should be discontinued,” Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued in briefs filed last week after the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals became the latest court to rule against the program.
The government filed a brief last week asking the court if plans on holding arguments before the end of June.
U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who represents the federal government before the high court, said it’s “critical” for the justices to make a decision before they enter their summer recess. This would allow the government and plaintiffs to prepare briefs for oral arguments before the court’s fall term, Francisco said in his brief.
The solicitor general raised several concerns about the prolonged litigation surrounding the program, which has been kept alive after several lower courts ruled against the administration. Francisco urged the court to “expedite” his request and consolidate the handful of cases for consideration next term.
In one passage, Francisco suggested that efforts by Congress to address the situation of those covered under DACA were being stymied by the ongoing court cases. “The very existence of this pending litigation (and lingering uncertainty) continues to impede efforts to enact legislation addressing the legitimate policy concerns underlying the DACA policy,” he wrote.
The House Democrats are getting ready to vote on the DREAM Act, which would allow millions of illegal immigrants to pursue a pathway to citizenship. The SCOTUS is expected to consider the Trump administration’s petition on Thursday in a closed door session. DACA recipients are able to renew their DACA status for two-year increments but the program is not accepting any new applicants.
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