The Department of Justice has submitted a legal brief to the Supreme Court arguing that President Donald Trump was acting within the law when he ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, The New York Times reports.
Justice attorneys wrote in a brief submitted late on Monday that the Department of Homeland Security “correctly, and at a minimum reasonably, concluded that DACA is unlawful.” The court is expected to hear arguments in the case this November, and a ruling likely will come during the upcoming election year. If the court sides with Trump, it would allow his administration to deport over one million young adults living in the United States who came to the country as children.
Trump attempted to phase-out the program, but federal courts have rejected these efforts and allowed the program to continue, determining that the Department of Homeland Security’s rationale for cutting the program did not hold up under scrutiny.
The administration’s lawyers argued that “as a matter of policy, DHS wanted to terminate a legally questionable nonenforcement policy and leave the creation of policies as significant as DACA to Congress.” They said that this should be enough of a reason to end the program, and denied that former Secretaries of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Elaine Duke were motivated to terminate the program by prejudice.
The lawyers argue that these “allegations are wholly insufficient to show that Secretaries Duke and Nielsen were motivated by racial animus in deciding to rescind a policy sanctioning the ongoing violation of federal immigration law by 700,000 aliens, especially given the serious questions about its legality.”
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