The Department of Justice on Thursday formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s ruling to block, in part, the Trump administration’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program.
The unusual step bypasses the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which would have been the normal move to overturn U.S. District Judge William Alsup’s ruling.
Last week, the San Francisco-based judge ordered the Trump administration to renew parts of DACA and start accepting renewal applications from those already part of the program while related lawsuits make their way through the legal system. However, Alsup did not demand that new applications be accepted.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Alsup’s ruling “defies both law and common sense” and said the department’s Supreme Court request would happen by week's end.
DACA, which impacts roughly 700,000 people dubbed “Dreamers,” had been set to expire March 5 after Sessions announced in September the Trump administration was rescinding the Obama-era program. Congress is now tasked with passing legislation to keep Dreamers — defined as people who entered the country as minors — from being at risk of deportation.