The US Supreme Court has blocked an attempt by Donald Trump to halt a scheme protecting the children of illegal US immigrants, dubbed the "dreamers", from deportation.
"I think everybody in this room wants to help with DACA. But the Supreme Court has ruled that it has to go through the normal channels, so it's going back in, and there won't be any surprise."US President
Last September the President scheduled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to end on 5 March, but two federal judges subsequently issued injunctions blocking the move whilst legal challenges were underway.
The administration attempted to bypass this process by appealing directly to the Supreme Court.
However, judges ruled against this move, saying the challenges had to make their way through the lower courts.
Donald Trump has expressed himself very impatient with the legal system since becoming President, and he vented his frustration about the Supreme Court decision to a gathering of state governors in Washington:
"You know, we tried to get it moved quickly, because we'd like to help DACA. I think everybody in this room wants to help with DACA. But the Supreme Court has ruled that it has to go through the normal channels, so it's going back in, and there won't be any surprise. (...) But what does that tell you about our court system? It's a very, very sad thing".
Victory or stay of execution?
Dreamers are claiming the decision as a minor victory, offering them a temporary shield from the threat of immediate deporation.
A DACA recipient called Antonio Alarcon, said
"We were able to challenge the administration and we won. Obviously it's not something permanent and it's not the solution to our problem. We will continue to fight for a clean Dreamer act so we can find that path to citizenship that we deserve."
Clean dreamer act?
When is a "clean dreamer act" likely to make it into law?
So far, attempts to find a solution have reached deadlock. Republicans want it to be included in a hardline immigration bill that Democrats would find it hard to accept. For their part, Democrats have used the budget as a lever to try to get their way, shutting down the government over it, and have suggested that they might offer funding for Trump's Mexican wall in return for a deal.
Some onlookers claim the Supreme Court decision takes the pressure off lawmakers to negotiate a compromise.
And so, for now, the dreamers remain in limbo.