U.S. court rules against Trump on DACA immigrant programme

Federal appeals court delivers blow to Trump plans to cancel DACA protections

Federal appeals court delivers blow to Trump plans to cancel DACA protections

The Obama-era program gives deportation protection to immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

The Trump administration is not allowed to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday afternoon.

The ruling represented another legal defeat for Mr Trump over DACA, although he has won court victories on other parts of his hardline immigration policies.

The ruling comes just days after the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to take over three cases concerning pending lawsuits that seek to preserve DACA.

Trump a year ago decried the 9th Circuit's "ridiculous" ruling on the travel ban, and said that court has "a awful record of being overturned" by the Supreme Court - an often-made charge that the 9th Circuit's chief judge took issue with in congressional testimony.

She said the court was not trying to infringe on the president's power to enforce immigration law but wanted to enable the exercise of that authority "in a manner that is free from legal misconceptions and is democratically accountable to the public".

DACA is an executive action issued by former President Barack Obama in 2012 to help undocumented individuals who arrived to the country as children to obtain work permits, college degrees and driver's licenses.

San Francisco-based US District Judge William Alsup decided in January the government must continue processing renewals of existing DACA applications while litigation over the legality of Trump's action is resolved.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Lawyers for the Trump administration have already asked the Supreme Court to review the issue.

Last year President Trump announced his intention to end DACA to avoid a lawsuit by Texas and other states.

The 9th Circuit ruled that challengers to the decision to end DACA are likely to succeed in their argument that the planned phase-out is illegal.

The ruling was the first by a federal appellate court to review the merits of the decision to rescind DACA. There are about 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, according to the Pew Research Centre.

"The district court also properly denied the government's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' APA arbitrary - and - capricious claim, their claim that the new information-sharing policy violates their due process rights, and their claim that the DACA rescission violates their right to equal protection".

It is one of the series of powerful regional federal appeals courts that are one step below the Supreme Court.

In its filing on Monday, the federal government complained that the 9th Circuit had heard oral argument in the dispute in mid-May but had not yet issued its ruling.

Options that have been discussed are extending DACA or providing a path to citizenship in exchange for funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border.

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