By backing 'Dreamers,' judge upholds rule of law — Sunstein

Trump administration will ask Supreme Court to overturn DACA ruling, but leave program intact for now

BREAKING: DOJ Appeals Judge's Ruling Stopping Trump From Ending DACA

"It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and nearly always wins before being reversed by higher courts", Trump tweeted following the ruling in the DACA case last week.

This week the administration filed an appeal in the case.

Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice said in a court filing that they were appealing the January 9 ruling by a federal judge preventing Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Strictly as a matter of law, it was eminently reasonable - whatever Congress does or does not do in the coming days and weeks. It has to justify that conclusion.

He cited the Supreme Court's 4-4 split in 2016, which left in place a Fifth Circuit ruling against a similar program for immigrant parents and an expansion of the DACA program.

"We now have terrorism-related investigations against thousands of people in the United States, including hundreds of people who came here as refugees". They also had to have been enrolled in school, and graduated from high school or obtained a GED, or been honorably discharged from the USA military or Coast Guard.

"If there is one group in the nation that does not pose a threat to national security or public safety, it's the 'Dreamers, '" said attorney Mark Rosenbaum of the nonprofit organization Public Counsel, referring to the young people in the program. More than 650,000 young people residing in the US meet these standards.

Sessions announced a year ago that the administration would rescind the DACA policy, arguing it was illegal to begin with. "It is clear that Acting Secretary Duke acted within her discretion to rescind this policy with an orderly wind down", he wrote.

In his 49-page ruling, Alsup said "plaintiffs have shown that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the rescission was arbitrary and capricious" and must be set aside under the federal Administrative Procedures Act. The president gave Congress a deadline of six months - March 5 - before DACA recipients - known as Dreamers - would begin to lose their status, including relief from deportation, work authorization, and drivers' licenses.

The judge thought not.

Since this court order and guidance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Resurrection Project has implemented several DACA renewal clinics to help people file their applications.

The rare move puts the justices on the spot, at a time when the fate of Dreamers is being heatedly debated in the Capitol, just across the street from the Supreme Court.

Critics have blasted the judge's ruling as a muddle. Agencies are perfectly entitled to change course, so long as they offer a reasoned explanation for doing so.

Days after Trump sparked an worldwide uproar by reportedly complaining about immigration from "shithole" countries, his administration sought to refocus the debate by tying a series of current immigration programs to terror threats. The problem is that it never made that argument. A central distinction between authoritarian and nonauthoritarian systems is that in the latter, executive officials have an obligation to obey the law.

They can not simply assert their power or their will.

Cass R. Sunstein is a professor at Harvard Law School and a Bloomberg View columnist.

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