The Trump administration filed notice late Monday that it is appealing last week’s ruling that ordered it to restart the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty in full.
The move had been expected, but the speed the Justice Department showed signals an interest in teeing the case up for quick action at the appeals level, and perhaps eventually back at the Supreme Court.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a statement hours before the appeal was announced, had teased the move, chiding courts for encroaching on the administration’s powers.
The case is part of a wide-ranging legal battle over DACA, which President Obama announced in 2012, claiming executive powers to create a program to grant hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant “Dreamers” tentative legal status and work permits, entitling them to Social Security numbers and some taxpayer benefits.
The Trump administration tried to use a memo — the same method the Obama administration used to create DACA — to phase it out.
Yet several courts have ruled that illegal, saying the government must go through a full notice-and-comment process to kill the program, even though the Obama administration didn’t.
On Friday Judge John D. Bates ruled the Trump phaseout illegal and ordered the government to restart the program anew, including taking brand new applications from Dreamers who’d never been approved before.
Mr. Sessions called that ruling wrong.
“Not only did the Trump administration have the authority to withdraw this guidance letter, it had a duty to do so,” Mr. Sessions said.
He also criticized courts for being too eager to battle Mr. Trump, saying they were trampling on the president’s powers and undermining his national security decisions.
Monday’s appeal joins appeals of other adverse DACA rulings the administration faced in New York and California.
The California case has already been heard by an appeals court and a ruling is pending. The New York case has yet to be heard by the circuit court there.
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