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Washington — The U.S. Supreme Court Jan. 22 took no action on the Trump administration's appeal of a federal appeals court's injunction on its efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
It is unclear if the high court will take up the case.
In November, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in San Francisco, upheld a lower court's preliminary injunction blocking the federal government's attempts to stop the program implemented by the Obama administration in 2012.
Although several trial judges have found fault with Trump's decision to end DACA, this decision was the first from a federal appeals court and the Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to review it.
"We conclude that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claim that the rescission of DACA -- at least as justified on this record -- is arbitrary, capricious or otherwise not in accordance with law," the 9th Circuit panel ruled.
Lawsuits by California and other states challenging the Trump administration's decision to end DACA will continue to move ahead in federal court while the injunction remains in place.
Currently, DACA protects about 700,000 people.
Although qualifying DACA recipients do not get legal status, they receive a work permit and get a reprieve from deportation and other temporary relief. During his 2017 announcement about ending the program, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions called DACA "an unconstitutional exercise of authority."
DACA began under then President Barack Obama via executive order. As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump said he would end the policy. As president, Trump said he would make a decision "with heart," and said that even though he was ending DACA, he was calling on Congress to find a solution to help the young adults. Lawmakers have failed to deliver, leaving the courts to toss around challenges.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2017 called the cancellation of DACA "reprehensible" and said it caused "unnecessary fear for DACA youth and their families." The USCCB, along with a variety of Catholic groups, organizations and religious orders, have since then called for a solution to help the young adults.
Last August, a federal judge in Washington ordered the Trump administration to restore DACA a program that helped young adults brought into the country illegally as minors, saying reasons calling for its demise were not justified.