Federal appellate court sides with UC Regents in fight to preserve DACA
UC President Janet Napolitano served as secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama when he created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. She is now leading the fight to uphold the program. (Ryan Leou/Daily Bruin)
By Megana Sekar
Nov. 8, 2018 6:42 p.m.
A federal appeals court supported the University of California Board of Regents in their case against the current federal administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on Thursday.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit blocked the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to terminate DACA benefits and discontinue applications. The three-judge panel supported past decisions that required the Trump administration continue accepting applications and renewals.
DACA is an executive action issued by former President Barack Obama in 2012 to help undocumented individuals who arrived to the country as children to obtain work permits, college degrees and driver’s licenses. Trump announced he would rescind the program in September 2017, and the UC countered immediately, saying the repeal violated undocumented persons’ due process rights.
UC President Janet Napolitano was the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama when he created DACA.
One of the ninth circuit judges, Kim McLane Wardlaw, said the Obama administration did not overreach the executive branch’s powers because it made the choice about how to direct deportation resources. She said executive agencies do not have the resources to deport every undocumented individual, which led Obama to pause deportation proceedings for minors through the creation of DACA.
The Court said the government’s decision to repeal DACA was based on an arbitrary and possibly misguided view of the law, and is therefore subject to review by the courts.
UC spokesperson Claire Doan said in a statement the University welcomes the appellate court’s decision and is now calling on the Trump administration to stop its efforts to repeal DACA.
Doan added while Thursday’s ruling was a win for the UC, Congress must enact permanent protections for DACA recipients including a path to citizenship, so students will not have to worry about their futures.
On Monday, the United States Department of Justice and the U.S. solicitor general filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to decide the issue before the ninth circuit court made its decision. The Supreme Court previously rejected a similar request to pre-emptively intervene in February. The Trump administration is expected to appeal this decision until the issue reaches the highest court.