Second US judge blocks Trump's decision for ending DACA program

Michele Moreno
February 14, 2018

For a second time, a judge has blocked President Donald Trump's administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects immigrants in the United States brought illegally as children from deportation.

In his ruling Tuesday, District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis said the administration can "indisputably" end DACA but questioned its legal reasoning for doing so.

As NPR's Joel Rose reports, "Garaufis said the administration can rescind DACA".

The Trump government has already restarted DACA's renewal proceedings following a similar decision in January by Judge William Allsup in a lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and state universities.

NY state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who leads a coalition of 17 attorneys general who sued to protect DACA and Dreamers, hailed Garaufis's decision as a "victory".

On Jan. 13, four days after a federal judge in San Francisco issued an injunction blocking the Trump's attempt to end the program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting renewal applications from people approved for the Obama-era program. "Any of these flaws would support invalidating the DACA rescission as arbitrary and capricious", Garaufis said.

Judge Garaufis said that was not a compelling argument, and said DACA is neither unconstitutional nor illegal.

"What the judge meant is that those people who had DACA in the past and who did not renew it, can submit a new application if they wish and the government has to process it, " he said. The administration appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is considering if it will take up the case. "The court concludes that defendants have not done so". "The Department of Homeland Security therefore acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner".

In revoking DACA past year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said they were facing the threat of a lawsuit and doubted they could legally defend the program.

"Today's court ruling out of the district court in Brooklyn shows that courts from coast to coast have sent a single clear message to President Trump: The way that he terminated DACA was not just immoral, it was unlawful", said Karen Tumlin, legal director at the National Immigration Law Center. Trump gave lawmakers a March 5 deadline to pass legislation that would end the program, but he was met with resistance from Democrats and judges alike. "As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress, and was susceptible to the same legal challenges that effectively ended DAPA", O'Malley said.

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have attempted to argue in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of NY about an ongoing "litigation risk" as justification for the government's decision. "Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens".

Other reports by Insurance News

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