WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump blasted the federal court system as “broken and unfair” on Wednesday after a judge blocked his administration’s move to end a program protecting young immigrants brought to the United States illegally by their parents.
A U.S. District Court judge in San Francisco ruled late on Tuesday that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which Trump has said he will end, should remain in effect until legal challenges brought in multiple courts are resolved.
Under the administration’s plan, the program for young people commonly known as “Dreamers” would be phased out over a two-year period, beginning in March.
“It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) … almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts,” the Republican president wrote on Twitter.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who made the ruling, is in the Northern District of California. The administration did not immediately appeal the decision, which would typically next go to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but the Justice Department said in a statement it would “continue to vigorously defend this position, and looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation.”
Some legal experts predicted the Trump administration would be successful if it appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court. In December, the highest court granted an administration request to block an earlier Alsup order that called for the release of internal documents related to the government’s DACA decision.
Several experts also said Tuesday’s court ruling could complicate negotiations between congressional Democrats and Republicans trying to reach a deal to resolve the legal status of nearly 700,000 young immigrants covered by the program.
“The ruling could deflate the pressure on Congress to act in the next week and in our view there remains just as much urgency as ever for a lasting fix,” said Michael Tan from the American Civil Liberties Union. Dreamers “don’t need a protracted legal battle,” he added.
At a White House meeting on Tuesday before the court ruling, Trump urged lawmakers to quickly reach a bipartisan DACA deal before moving on to even tougher negotiations on a comprehensive immigration bill. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the issue should be resolved as part of the legislative process.
“President Trump is…