Appeals court judges question Trump move to end DACA

A federal appeals court in California grappled on Tuesday with a case regarding the Trump administration's legal just...

Posted: May 16, 2018 10:05 AM
Updated: May 16, 2018 10:05 AM

A federal appeals court in California grappled on Tuesday with a case regarding the Trump administration's legal justifications for terminating DACA, the Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation.

The three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals seemed concerned about how the Trump administration decided to unwind the DACA program, whether the move had violated the equal protection rights of the recipients and if the court should take presidential tweets and statements in consideration as they considered the case.

Although the Trump administration announced plans to phase out the program last September, three judges in different districts across the country have temporarily blocked the government from doing so and ordered that renewals under the program should continue while the cases play out in court.

At issue is not the legality of the program, but how the government chose to wind it down. Supporters of the roughly 700,000 "Dreamers" who could be impacted, say the administration's actions were arbitrary and in violation of federal law.

Last fall the challengers won the first round when Judge William Alsup, of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, issued a preliminary nationwide injunction and ordered that renewals under the program continue.

After the ruling, a furious President Donald Trump tweeted: "It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts." The 9th Circuit blocked several versions of the President's travel ban and is considered a more liberal court.

Judge Jacqueline Nguyen on Tuesday expressed some concern that "thousands" of DACA recipients had now built their lives on the program. Judge Kim Wardlaw queried whether the court should take presidential tweets and statements into account. And Judge John Owens also questioned whether the court had the jurisdiction to hear the case or if it should be left to the political branches, calling it his "main concern."

All three judges were nominated by Democratic presidents.

Plaintiffs in the case include California Attorney General Xavier Becerra who is representing a handful of states, as well as the University of California and individual DACA recipients .

Michael Mongan, the deputy solicitor general of California said the administration hadn't shown "its homework" and it was necessary to do so before terminating the program. "They've got to explain" what they are doing, he said.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Hashim Mooppan told the court that policy decisions belonged in the hands of the political branches and should not be "judicially second-guessed." He said the Trump administration sought to reset enforcement priorities in phasing out the program and has broad discretion to do so.

In court papers, Mooppan also argued the DACA move applies equally to persons of all ethnicities, although like most immigration policies, has a certain disproportionate impact on Latinos from Central and South America. He also told the judges the lower court's nationwide injunction was overbroad and the lower court should have tailored the injunction to the named plaintiffs. He also said the administration hadn't decided, in another case, whether to issue a new memo explaining the plan to cut DACA.

"We are actively considering what to do," Mooppan said.

This story has been updated to state Michael Mongan is the deputy solicitor general of California.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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