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Justice Dept. to Ask High Court to Overturn California DACA Ruling


Demonstrators protest at the office of Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status programs on Capitol Hill, Jan. 16, 2018, in Washington.

The U.S. Justice Department says it will take what Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the "rare step" of asking the Supreme Court to overturn a California ruling barring the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The move is "rare" because the administration acted before current legal proceedings in a San Francisco appeals court have concluded.

Sessions explained his move by saying it defies "law and common sense" to allow one federal judge, William Alsup in California, to decide the DACA issue for the entire country.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra responded to the move in a statement Tuesday saying he is "confident the appellate courts will see the logic and justice behind the district court's issuance of the preliminary injunction," which protects the program until the matter is decided in the courts.

Sessions said that former acting Homeland Security chief Elaine Duke "acted within her discretion to rescind" the DACA program "with an orderly wind down" to give Congress a chance to decide whether to protect the immigrants from deportation.

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump criticized Democrat lawmakers, saying their demands to protect DACA would force a government shutdown this week that would cost the military.

Trump last week rejected a bipartisan effort from six Republican and Democratic senators to protect the immigrants from deportation and improve security along the southern U.S. border with Mexico. At the same White House meeting, according to numerous accounts, Trump questioned why the U.S. should admit more immigrants from "s---hole countries" like Haiti, El Salvador and African nations.

Democratic leaders have said they most likely will oppose a measure that does not protect young immigrants known as “Dreamers,” including the nearly 800,000 who entered the United States unauthorized and received protection from deportation through DACA since its creation five years ago.

Alsup last week ruled in favor of a group of individuals and institutions, including the University of California, who sued the government seeking to block the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, saying it should remain active until legal challenges are resolved.

When Alsup ruled against him, Trump said the ruling "just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is" when opponents of his actions often file suit against them in western U.S. courts "and almost always win before being reversed by higher courts."

Trump revoked the program last September but gave Congress until March 5 to weigh in on the issue.

Trump last week rejected a bipartisan effort from six Republican and Democratic senators to protect the immigrants from deportation and improve security along the southern U.S. border with Mexico. At the same White House meeting, according to numerous accounts, Trump questioned why the U.S. should admit more immigrants from "s---hole countries" like Haiti, El Salvador and African nations.

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