On Monday, the Trump Administration’s agenda was dealt a painful blow, as the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of the recent federal judge’s ruling. The recent federal ruling required the government to keep DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The program allows children of illegal immigrants, commonly called “Dreamers,” to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation, if they were under 16 when they arrived, in 2007 or prior. Their status must be renewed every two years, and so many have been caught between rulings as they attempt to renew their status. The administration’s effort to repeal the ruling, in hopes of shutting down the program by March 5, was seen as a failure when the Supreme Court declined its hearing.

House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., responded to the denial by saying, “Today’s Supreme Court action shows that rescinding DACA was not only legally questionable, but also unjust and cruel. The court’s action is welcome news, but only Congress can provide the permanent protection our Dreamers need and deserve.”

This denial gives Congress even more time to discuss a legislative solution, something they have been trying to accomplish for months now, even resulting in a temporary government shutdown when efforts failed. As it stands now, the Department of Homeland Security is obligated to continue accepting renewals from those currently enrolled in DACA. It is estimated that 700,000 are currently enrolled, nervously awaiting the decisions of the courts. The court stated that ultimately “it is assumed the court of appeals will act expeditiously to decide this case.”

Justices rarely accept appeals that request they bypass lower courts, so the move was largely expected. However, the White House response indicated they were standing by their position that the program is unlawful and will be found as such by higher courts. In a statement, the White House replied, “The DACA program — which provides work permits and myriad government benefits to illegal immigrants en masse — is clearly unlawful. 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.”

Now, the program’s challenge is pending before the California appeals court. The Justice Department has stated that it expects at least another year to pass before a decision is made by the Supreme Court. In the meantime, if Congress provides a path to citizenship for the Dreamers, or votes to extend the program, the case would likely be dismissed.

The battle over DACA began in September, when the administration stated the Attorney General Jeff Sessions felt the program was implemented without proper legal authority. The University of California and its president, former Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, sued in an effort to preserve the program. On January 9, a federal judge, William Alsup in San Francisco, ruled in their favor. The Justice Department stated that it would contest the ruling before the 9th Circuit of Appeals in California. In addition, government lawyers asked the Supreme Court to agree to hear the case. This is something that is usually only done in emergency situations, and has occurred less than 15 times in the past 100 years.

Source: NBC News