The Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Trump administration this morning by refusing to hear a challenge to a lower court ruling that blocked their plans to dismantle the DACA program because the case had not yet made its way through the appeals process.
The administration tried to jump the queue and bypass the appeals process to be able to immediately end the DACA program which a lower court has blocked them from doing until all legal remedies for the DACA recipients have been exhausted.
The White House, which has sent so many mixed messages regarding DACA at this point that it’s difficult to discern its ultimate strategy, immediately condemned the decision and attacked the DACA program, which Trump unilaterally discontinued as an overreach of presidential prerogative from the Obama administration.
Deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah released a statement today saying:
“The DACA program – which provides work permits and myriad government benefits to illegal immigrants en masse – is clearly unlawful. The district judge’s decision unilaterally to re-impose a program that Congress had explicitly and repeatedly rejected is a usurpation of legislative authority,”
“The fact that this occurs at a time when elected representatives in Congress are actively debating this policy only underscores that the district judge has unwisely intervened in the legislative process. 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,” he said.
The Trump administration’s sudden sensitivity to the separation of judicial, legislative, and executive powers in the federal government seems to only apply to the DACA case as the administration has taken multiple actions that undermine the legislative branch’s powers, including the refusal to enact the sanctions against Russia for meddling in the 2016 presidential election that were passed by a wide bipartisan margin in Congress.
The Supreme Court decision means that the Dreamers, the people who were brought to the country illegally while they were still children, will remain in legal limbo until either Congress passes some form of DACA legislation or the Supreme Court makes a ruling once the case has finished its appeals in lower courts.
So far Congress has made little progress in passing DACA legislation, primarily because of the White House’s insistence that any DACA bill also includes funding for the infamous border wall that Trump continues to believe that Mexico will pay for, despite the repeated denials from the Mexican government. Trump so angered Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in a phone call this weekend by his refusal to give up his completely ludicrous campaign pledge that Peña Nieto canceled a planned state visit to the U.S. next month.