a letter to the clerk of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
in San Francisco, a Justice Department lawyer said the action
would be necessary to give the litigation a chance of being
heard by the Supreme Court in its current term, which ends in
The case at issue was brought by the University of California
and others challenging the administration's decision to end
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The program was
adopted by the Obama administration in 2012 and has allowed
700,000 young immigrants to remain and work in the United
States, although they do not have legal status.
A federal district court in California issued a nationwide
injunction requiring the government to continue the program and
process renewals for existing participants until a final ruling
was made in the case.
The government maintains DACA is not legal and has sanctioned
"an ongoing violation of federal law" by its participants. It
appealed the injunction to the 9th Circuit, which heard
arguments in the case on May 15 but has not yet issued a ruling.
"If this courtís decision is not issued promptly," said the
letter, "the Supreme Court would not be able to review the
decision in the ordinary course until next term at the earliest.
It would be unusual for the Supreme Court to weigh in before the
appeals court has ruled. In February, the Supreme Court declined
to grant a previous petition asking it to review the lower
court's decision before the appeals court ruled.
The administration's decision to end DACA sparked an outcry from
immigration advocates, business groups, colleges and religious
leaders, and was quickly challenged in the courts.
Other cases both challenging and supporting the government's
decision to end DACA are also working their way through the
courts, making it almost certain that the Supreme Court will
eventually decide the issue, unless Congress acts first.
Earlier this year, Congress tried and failed to pass legislation
Lawmakers may get another shot at the issue after the Nov. 6
congressional election. Congress will have to consider spending
proposals, and some leading lawmakers have suggested that funds
for a wall along the border with Mexico could be passed in
conjunction with wider immigration reform.
(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; editing by
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