DACA Protest

Source: Bill Clark / Getty

On Monday (February 26), the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the Trump administration’s appeal calling for the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which means that the Trump administration might not be able to end the program on March 5 as originally planned.

The government lawyers asked the Supreme Court to hear the case, bypassing the appeals court. The justices rarely ever do this, so the denial was expected. This move will lessen pressure on Congress to agree on a permanent solution for DACA and its roughly 700,000 participants, who are undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

“It is assumed the court of appeals will act expeditiously to decide this case,” the court declared in a brief order.

After the Supreme Court decision was announced, the White House responded insisting that the program was “unlawful.”

“The DACA program—which provides work permits and myriad government benefits to illegal immigrants en masse—is clearly unlawful,” they said. “The district judge’s decision to unilaterally re-impose a program that Congress had explicitly and repeatedly rejected is a usurpation of legislative authority…we look forward to having this case expeditiously heard by the appeals court and, if necessary, the Supreme Court, where we fully expect to prevail.”

When Trump originally terminated DACA, the administration instituted a six-month grace period for anyone with expiring status to renew. After March 5, DACA recipients whose status has expired would no longer be able to be protected.

Federal district Judge William Alsup blocked the plan to end DACA and asserted that the Trump administration must resume accepting renewal applications. The case will continue to make its way through the lower courts.

“Plaintiffs have established injury that reaches beyond the geographical bounds of the Northern District of California,” he wrote. “The problem affects every state and territory of the United States.”