Supreme Court rejects Trump administration’s appeal over DACA

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Updated Feb 26, 2018 10:03 AM EST

The Supreme Court is rejecting the Trump administration’s highly unusual bid to get the justices to intervene in the controversy over protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants.

The justices on Monday refused to take up the administration’s appeal of a lower court order that requires the administration to continue accepting renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The DOJ appealed a lower court’s decision in The Regents of the University of California and Janet Napolitano v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Elaine Duke, to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and asked the U.S. Supreme Court take up the case directly late last month. 

The appeal came after a U.S. district court temporarily blocked the Trump administration from ending DACA, the program former President Barack Obama established to protect immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children. 

 What made the appeal unusual is that the administration sought to bypass the federal appeals court in San Francisco and go directly to the Supreme Court.

Since then, a judge in New York also has ruled in favor of immigrants challenging the end of DACA.

In a brief unsigned comment, the justices they assume “the court of appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case.” The court order says applications must now be accepted indefinitely. DACA has provided protection from deportation and work permits for about 800,000 young people, many who were brought to the U.S. illegally.

In a statement from Department of Justice spokesman Devin O’Malley, the DOJ says they will continue to defend “DHS’ lawful authority to wind down DACA in an orderly manner.

“While we were hopeful for a different outcome, the Supreme Court very rarely grants certiorari before judgment, though in our view it was warranted for the extraordinary injunction requiring the Department of Homeland Security to maintain DACA,” O’Malley added.

In September, Mr. Trump said he would end the DACA program by March 5 but the court’s ruling now delivers a blow to the administration’s end date.  Congress still has yet to formally provide a fix the DACA program, with the Senate most recently rejecting all four immigration proposals brought to the Senate floor this month.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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