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Justice Department takes DACA battle directly to Supreme Court

Justice Department takes DACA battle directly to Supreme Court

"We are now taking the rare step of requesting direct review on the merits of this injunction by the Supreme Court so that this issue may be resolved quickly and fairly for all the parties involved", he said in a statement announcing the speedy appeal.

The justices plan to hear arguments in April and issue a final ruling by late June.

DACA has been subject to multiple legal challenges in federal courts by various organizations, individuals and Democratic state attorneys general.

The next version, unveiled in March, dropped Iraq from the list of covered countries and made it clear the 90-day ban covering Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen didn't apply to those travelers who already had valid visas. The administration has taken a beating in the many challenges to its immigration initiatives, including the three iterations of the "travel ban" applicable to noncitizens from predominantly Muslim countries. But he said the Trump administration's executive action to cancel it was illegal.

The issue pits an administration that considers the restrictions necessary for Americans' security against challengers who claim it is illegally aimed at Muslims and stems from Trump's campaign call for a "complete shutdown of Muslims" entering the U.S.

Lower courts in two separate challenges have partially blocked the ban.

Trump's initial travel ban, decreed a week after he took office, triggered chaos out at U.S. airports, with travelers detained upon arrival, and nationwide protests against a measure seen as discriminatory - though Trump said it aimed to keep out extremists. As a judge, he has presided over a large variety of trials, including death penalty cases, felony cases and civil cases.

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Protesters stand in front of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, California on February 7, 2017. The earlier orders, it explained, were "premised on uncertainty about the adequacy of other governments' information-sharing", while the current version responds to "specific findings that a handful of countries have deficient information-sharing practices or other factors that prevent the government from assessing the risk their nationals pose to the United States".

"The immigration laws do not grant the President this power", Katyal said.

The government announced Saturday it would begin accepting those applications, even as it fights in court to cut the program off again.

The action follows last month's ruling by the federal appeals court in San Francisco that struck down the travel ban.

The Trump administration said it has appealed [a] judge's injunction - which said the Obama-era program must continue for now - to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Before the Supreme Court's December order, the lower courts also had allowed the ban to go into effect for those with no close relatives in the United States or "formal, documented " relationships with US-based entities such as universities and resettlement agencies. It did not decide whether the ban violated the Constitution.