By Joseph Tanfani
Tribune Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON – The Justice Department said Tuesday it will ask the Supreme Court to overturn a federal judge’s ruling that prevents President Donald Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which currently offers protections from deportation for about 700,000 people who were brought 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 of that appears to be to allow the DACA program to continue while the litigation proceeds.
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, young immigrants who came to the country illegally as children.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Saturday that it would once again start processing applications for renewal of DACA permits because of Alsup’s 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 Attorney General Jeff Sessions.