President Donald Trump’s bid to cancel a program benefiting undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children was rejected by an appeals court Thursday, setting the stage for the Supreme Court to review one of the president’s signature initiatives on immigration.
The ruling, by a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said the administration voiced flawed and inadequate reasons for its decision in September 2017 to terminate the Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
The decision is in line with similar rulings by multiple trial judges who found the administration’s cancellation legally deficient. The Trump administration has already sought to have the issue reviewed by the Supreme Court, which typically prefers to have the final say when a government program or major executive action is invalidated by a lower court.
The case could present one of the biggest early challenges for the high court since Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the bench. The court in recent years has divided in some key immigration cases, including in June when a 5-4 court upheld a revised version of Trump’s ban on travel from citizens of several countries on antiterrorism grounds. The justices also deadlocked on a major Obama-era immigration case in 2016 after Justice Antonin Scalia died.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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