In the unfolding legal saga surrounding former President Donald Trump, the prospect of seeing him behind bars before the next election appears to be fading into the mist of procedural intricacies and potential delays.
The US Supreme Court on Monday said it will not hear a case on the DACA programme, which protects about 690,000 young people brought into the country illegally by their parents from deportation.
In a brief order, the high court announced its decision not to try the case and so rejected the request of the US Justice Department and thwarted President Donald Trump’s wish to have the future of DACA decided by March 5, Efe reported.
In practice, the decision means that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme remains in force and that the Department of Homeland Security must continue to accept applications for renewal of this immigration document that blocks deportation of undocumented youths and serves as a work permit.
The issue was the ruling of a federal court judge in California, who in January determined that Trump cannot completely revoke DACA while there are cases pending on the matter in courts around the country, because its beneficiaries could suffer irreparable harm.
In response to that ruling, the US Justice Department filed an appeal directly with the high court, without waiting for a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
An unusual move, because the courts of appeals generally judge cases before they are sent to the Supreme Court.
Monday’s decision represents a small victory for defenders of immigrants, because until the California appeals court reaches a verdict on the case – which could take a year – the ruling of the San Francisco judge plus a similar one by a New York judge to block the demise of DACA will remain the law of the land.
The White House and Congress have not been able to agree on the future of DACA, so now the hopes of Dreamers depend on the courts.