A US appeals court ruled Thursday that President Donald Trump cannot immediately end an Obama-era program shielding young immigrants from deportation. A three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously kept in place a preliminary injunction blocking Trump's decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the AP reports. Lawsuits by California and others challenging the administration's decision will continue in federal court while the injunction remains in place. In Thursday's ruling, 9th Circuit Judge Kim Wardlaw said California and other plaintiffs were likely to succeed with their claim that the decision to end DACA was arbitrary and capricious.
She said the court is not trying to infringe on the president's power regarding immigration law and instead wants to enable the exercise of that authority "in a manner that is free from legal misconceptions and is democratically accountable to the public." The Trump administration has said it moved to end the program last year because Texas and other states threatened to sue, raising the prospect of a chaotic end to DACA. Trump's decision to end it prompted lawsuits across the nation, including one by California. A judge overseeing that lawsuit and four others ruled against the administration and reinstated the program in January. The Trump administration then asked the 9th Circuit to throw out that ruling. Federal judges in New York and Washington also have ruled against Trump on DACA. (A teen who had DACA status was sent back to Mexico and murdered there.)