U.S. Ninth Circuit - The FindLaw 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Judge Alsup Restores DACA With Preliminary Injunction

After President Trump decided to end DACA, challenges were brought almost immediately as the potential harm for the "dreamers" was imminent. Judge William Alsup of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, as one of the first federal court judges to hear a challenge, issued a preliminary injunction requiring the federal government to revive part of DACA while the lawsuit weaves its way through the court.

The injunction prohibits the government from ending the program for current dreamers, and requires it to accept renewal applications. However, the injunction does permit the government to refuse to accept new applications. Also, the injunction does not prevent the government from denying reentry into the country if a dreamer leaves.

Controversy and the American Dream

What makes rescinding DACA such a controversial move, particularly given President Trump's former approval of the policy prior to his candidacy, is that the undocumented immigrants that benefit from the program are the ones brought over as children by their parents and are now seeking to enter the workforce legally. Judge Alsup noted that without the injunction, dreamers would "slide back to the pre-DACA era and associated hardship." He made sure that the injunction would apply nationwide.

However, as one might expect, the White House was not pleased with the ruling. It will likely be appealed, and if upheld by the Ninth Circuit, the matter may even make it to SCOTUS before the end of the year, much like travel ban cases. Interestingly though, the burden of proof to actually get a preliminary injunction is rather high and requires showing a likelihood of success by the moving party. The fact that the challengers obtained the requested relief is promising for those that oppose getting rid of DACA.

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