In a 5-4 vote Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the Trump administration’s request to withhold documents related to its decision to end the Obama-era DACA program.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was launched in 2012 to help immigrants who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children avoid deportation. The Trump administration ended it in September.
With its vote, the court blocked a California judge’s order requiring the Trump administration to disclose all emails, letters and other documents it considered as it made its decision to end the program, the Washington Post reported.
The judge had ordered the documents’ disclosure as part of a lawsuit in which plaintiffs — including the University of California, several immigrants and more than a dozen states — have been seeking to restore DACA.
The Supreme Court denied the judge’s order until the justices take further action. The justices who granted the withholding did not make any additional statement, but set a Wednesday deadline for more briefs to be filed with the court.
Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley said the department was “pleased” with the Supreme Court’s decision “putting on hold the district court’s overreach.”
“The Department of Homeland Security acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner, and the Justice Department believes the courts will ultimately agree,” he wrote.
“The Department of Homeland Security acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner, and the Justice Department believes the courts will ultimately agree.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading the plaintiffs group, said in a statement that the group would “keep fighting in court.” And he asked, “What is the Trump Administration trying so hard to hide?”
DACA also granted the children of illegal immigrants the right to work and travel in and out of the U.S.
According to court documents, roughly 800,000 people have benefited from DACA.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.