U.S. Supreme Court

US asks Supreme Court to block order requiring production of documents on DACA wind-down

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The U.S. Justice Department on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a federal judge’s order to turn over additional documents regarding the government’s wind-down of a program protecting immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

The Justice Department is asking the high court to stay the order by U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup of San Francisco and issue a writ of mandamus overturning his decision, the Washington Post, SCOTUSblog, BuzzFeed News and Politico report.

Alsup had ordered the government to turn over the complete administrative record, including documents regarding the government’s prior decision to keep the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had refused to disturb the order in a 2-1 decision.

The Justice Department argues the federal judge’s order could require the government to turn over as many as hundreds of thousands of documents, and producing them would take at least 2,000 hours. At this point, the government has provided 256 pages of documents already publicly available.

The government says the decision to end the program is discretionary, and judicial review of the decision is barred by administrative and immigration law. If the decision is subject to review, there is no right to deliberative materials, according to the government petition (PDF).

DACA, established in 2012 by President Barack Obama, had provided work permits for people brought here illegally as children and had protected them from deportation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had argued the program circumvented Congress when he announced its wind-down in September.

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