The Trump administration on Tuesday appealed a judge's ruling temporarily blocking its decision to end protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants and announced plans to seek a U.S. Supreme Court review even before an appeals court issues a decision.
Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice said in a court filing that they were appealing the Jan. 9 ruling by a federal judge preventing President Donald Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The appeal was filed with the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a separate news release, the agency said it planned to file documents seeking a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that it defied "law and common sense" for a single federal judge to decide the DACA issue.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup in his Jan. 9 ruling said lawyers in favor of DACA clearly demonstrated that the young immigrants "were likely to suffer serious, irreparable harm" without court action. The judge also said the lawyers have a strong chance of succeeding at trial.
He granted a request by California and other plaintiffs for a preliminary injunction against the administration while lawsuits challenging its DACA decision play out in court. Alsup also rejected the administration's request to dismiss the lawsuits.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement Tuesday that he was "confident the appellate courts will see the logic and justice behind the district court's issuance of the preliminary injunction."
DACA has protected about 800,000 people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas. The program includes hundreds of thousands of college-age students.
Sessions announced in September that DACA would be phased out, saying President Barack Obama had exceeded his authority when he implemented it in 2012.
Efforts in Congress to reach a deal to protect DACA recipients appear to have gotten more complicated in the wake of Trump's use of a vulgarity during a meeting with lawmakers last week to discuss an immigration proposal.