The administration asked the Supreme Court on Monday to immediately take up cases challenging President Trump’s phaseout of the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty for illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” saying it’s critical the justices hear the matter this term.
Though the cases are still pending before a number of lower federal appeals courts, Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco told the justices that waiting on decisions would mean the issue would be pushed for at least a year.
That, he said, would leave in place an “unlawful” DACA program that Mr. Trump and his advisers have concluded must go.
Mr. Francisco said the justices earlier this year turned down a previous attempt to rush the case to them, but did say they wanted the appeals courts to move quickly.
“More than eight months ago, this court recognized that this dispute called for an expeditious resolution. That is even more evident today,” he wrote in his petition. “The court should grant review in these cases and ensure that it can provide a timely and definitive resolution of the dispute this term.”
Mr. Trump and his aides in September 2017 announced a phaseout of DACA, allowing people in the program to serve out the remainder of their two-year work permits and stays of deportation, but limiting renewals.
A flurry of lawsuits ensued.
Courts in Washington, D.C., New York and California ruled the phaseout illegal, saying the administration cut too many corners, didn’t explain the decision and, according to one of the judges, was “heartless” toward the illegal immigrants who benefit from DACA.
Each of those rulings has been appealed, and in the meantime DACA remains in effect — though no new applications are allowed.
Complicating matters is another ruling from a court in Texas, which found the original DACA program, announced in 2012, is likely illegal.
That’s left a morass where the amnesty is against the law, but so is the effort to end it.
Immigrant-rights advocates said the administration’s effort to speed the cases to the high court are “cruel.”
Tom Jawetz, vice president of immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, called on the justices to refuse.
“DACA has been a great benefit to the nation, and the evidence demonstrates that the program works,” he said.
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