President Donald Trump on Wednesday slammed a federal judge for blocking his plans to phase out protections for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup issued an order late Tuesday night saying that safeguards against deportation must remain in place for approximately 690,000 immigrants in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Washington Post reported.
"It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts," Trump tweeted.
It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2018
It remains unclear when the DACA recipients could resume applying for renewals of their work permits as a result of the California ruling, which Alsup believes should apply nationwide.
The Trump administration promised to challenge Alsup's ruling.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the ruling "outrageous" and demanded that Congress act immediately to decide the future of the program.
"An issue of this magnitude must go through the normal legislative process," Sanders said. "President Trump is committed to the rule of law, and will work with members of both parties to reach a permanent solution that corrects the unconstitutional actions taken by the last administration."
Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, criticized the Trump administration over DACA and said that something needs be done because she expects "there to be a lot of confusion" in immigrant communities about whether the program will survive.
Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley said that Alsup's ruling does not change the department's stance on DACA.
"DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend these benefits to this same group of illegal aliens," he said. "As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress, and was susceptible to the same legal challenges that effectively ended DACA. The Department of Homeland Security therefore acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner. Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens."
The Trump administration could quickly appeal Alsup's ruling, hoping that an an appeals court prevents the injunction from taking effect. But such a ruling could also reach the Supreme Court through appeals, delaying the fate of the program for weeks or longer, the New York Times reported.