The Supreme Court on Tuesday chose to put off until Friday at the earliest its reaction to the Trump Administration appeal seeking approval for its plan to end the “DACA” program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation. The case, involving the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program, is now scheduled for discussion at a closed-door meeting of the Justices Friday morning.
The Court may announce action on the controversy as early as Friday afternoon, or that could emerge next Monday. Because the Administration has asked the Justices to resolve the dispute during the current term, time is very short if review is to be granted. The Administration had asked for action swiftly after the Justices first took up the case last Friday, but nothing emerged among a series of orders released Tuesday morning. A docket entry updated its status.
At issue is the legal fate of nearly 700,000 immigrants, brought to this country as children by their parents; they had no legal right to enter originally or lost that right by over-staying entry visas. They have been protected from deportation for more than five years under the DACA program, adopted by the Obama Administration in June 2012.
The Trump Administration decided last September to end the program, but delayed the actual shutdown until March 5, to give Congress time to decide whether to keep the program going in some form. Congress has debated the controversy surrounding DACA, but has taken no final action yet.
The March 5 deadline is on hold under temporary orders by two federal judges; one of those orders is being challenged in the case pending at the Supreme Court. The Court gives no explanation when it has considered a case for possible review, but then reschedules it for a later discussion.
The Court also took no action Tuesday on another appeal by the Trump Administration involving immigrants, and that case, too, has been rescheduled for the Justices’ discussion on Friday. It involves a request by the Administration to order lower courts to dismiss a pending challenge by teenage women immigrants, now being detained by immigration officials, to those officials’ refusal to arrange for abortions when the women seek them after becoming pregnant. Officials have argued that they have no legal duty to facilitate abortions for those women.
Three young women have had abortions under orders from lower federal courts, and the attorneys representing others now in detention want to keep the case going to assure access to abortions for any who become pregnant in the future and opt to terminate their pregnancies. The Administration wants the entire case dismissed.