WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (KUNA) -- The US Supreme Court on Monday declined the Trump administration's request to decide whether it was entitled to shut down a program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation.
The court turned down the unusual request to immediately review lower court decisions to keep in place the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which shields roughly 700,000 young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation and allows them work authorization.
President Donald Trump announced in September that he would let the program expire unless Congress acted. Since then, efforts by lawmakers to safeguard DACA as part of a broader deal on immigration policy failed.
However, federal district judges in California and New York issued nationwide injunctions against ending the program, effectively blocking the Trump administration from scrapping the program on March 5, as planned.
In response to the injunctions, the Trump administration skipped the more usual interim step of going before the appeals court and argued instead for a hearing before the Supreme Court because the cases raises important legal questions about presidential authority.
In a brief order, the Supreme court said simply, "It is assumed the court of appeals will act expeditiously to decide this case."
The court's decision leaves the DACA challenge pending before the California appeals court, where it is in the very early stages. The Justice Department has said it would take at least another year to get back to the Supreme Court for a decision on the issue. (end)