The Supreme Court will hold a closed-door meeting to decide whether to take up a lower court opinion that blocked the White House plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is at the forefront of the debate on illegal immigration.
In an unusual move, the nation's highest court will consider the possibility of reviewing the opinion without a ruling from a federal appeals court, following a direct request from the Justice Department to decide the case, according to CNN.
The department wants the court to rule on whether the administration must continue to accept DACA renewal applications from participants after federal Northern California District Judge William Alsup blocked President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE's decision to end the program.
The federal government acted on the judge's opinion that the department improperly terminated DACA, citing a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The lower court did not rule on whether the program, implemented by an executive memorandum under President Obama, was unconstitutional, as some Republicans in Congress and administration officials have argued
Alsup wrote that the "decision to rescind DACA was based on a flawed legal premise."
Another federal judge in New York City also issued an injunction barring the administration from ending the program amid the many legal complaints against its cancellation.
Congress is currently trying to agree on a legislative fix for the program that allows temporary work permits for roughly 700,000 immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children.
Trump announced in September that the program was rescinded with a six-month delay so that there would be time. But a March 5 deadline is fast approaching.
Lawmakers are now scrambling after a number of proposals on immigration were shot down in the Senate on Thursday, including several that would offer amnesty to DACA recipients in exchange for tighter border control measures and funding for a border wall.