The Justice Department said Tuesday it will ask the Supreme Court to overturn a federal judge’s ruling that prevents President Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which currently offers protections from deportation for about 700,000 people who came to the U.S. as children.
But the administration has not asked courts to put the ruling by U.S. District Judge William Alsup on hold while the Supreme Court considers what to do. The effect will be to allow the DACA program to continue while the litigation proceeds.
“Until further notice … the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded” by Trump, a spokesperson for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Tuesday. “We are still accepting applications.”
Although the administration is seeking a speedy review by the high court, the justices are under no obligation to expedite the case — or even to hear the administration’s appeal. They could send the case back to a lower court for further proceedings.
At minimum, the high court would likely take several weeks to consider the case. That could buy congressional negotiators additional time to come up with a legislative solution for the so-called Dreamers, the young immigrants who came to the country illegally as children.
The Homeland Security Department announced Saturday that it would once again start processing applications for renewal of DACA permits because of Alsup’ ruling. The judge’s ruling also ordered the department not to terminate any existing permits.
The judge, who is based in San Francisco, made his ruling applicable nationwide.
“It defies both law and common sense for DACA … to somehow be mandated nationwide by a single district court in San Francisco,” said Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.
11:50 a.m.: This article was was updated throughout with additional details and background.