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Environmental challenge to DACA immigration won't get high court review

2 minute read

REUTERS/Mike Blake

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  • U.S. Supreme Court declined to review win for Department of Homeland Security
  • Plaintiffs alleged Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program lacked environmental review

(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a federal appeals court decision rejecting allegations that the Department of Homeland Security unlawfully ignored the environmental impacts of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and other immigration policies.

DACA, which was created under former President Barack Obama in 2012, protects immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from deportation.

Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and others had asked the high court to hear their appeal of a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that a lower court correctly tossed their allegations that DHS violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

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CAPS and the other groups sued in 2016, claiming that the government failed to conduct the kind of environmental review of DACA that is required for major federal actions under NEPA.

A San Diego federal judge ruled against the plaintiffs last year, and a unanimous panel of the 9th Circuit affirmed that decision in September.

The 9th Circuit said the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to bring the claims.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich similarly sued DHS in Phoenix federal court in April, claiming the Biden administration's moves to undo Trump-era immigration policies will lead to an influx of migrants in the state and cause harm to the environment. That case is pending.

CAPS and its co-petitioners are represented by attorney Julie Axelrod of the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that supports increased immigration restrictions. Axelrod did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Department of Justice spokesperson declined to comment.

The case is Whitewater Draw Natural Resource Conservation District v. Mayorkas, U.S. Supreme Court. No. 21-574.

For Whitewater Draw Natural Resource Conservation District, et al.: Julie Axelrod of the Center for Immigration Studies

For Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, et al.: Elizabeth Prelogar, Solicitor General of the United States

Read more:

Appeals court shuts down environmental challenge to DACA immigration

Biden admin's immigration policies will cause environmental harms, says Arizona AG

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Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Sebastien Malo reports on environmental, climate and energy litigation. Reach him at sebastien.malo@thomsonreuters.com

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