2nd U.S. Judge Blocs Trump DACA Repeal, Orders Full Restoration Of Program

by Bamidele Ogunberu Last updated on May 2nd, 2018,

New York City, USA: In a victory for Democratic state attorneys general and immigrants who sued the federal government, U.S. federal Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, in Brooklyn, New York, ruled Tuesday that the government must fully restart the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty program and accept brand new applicants as well as renewals, throwing a potential wrench in the ongoing debate over the fate of “Dreamers” on Capitol Hill.

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis said the administration does have the power to revoke DACA, but it must give a sound reason for doing so — and the Homeland Security Department’s September 2017 rationale fell far short of what is required in that regard.

He even used Mr. Trump’s own tweets as evidence that the DACA program was ended precipitously, pointing to President Trumps’s claims that he could “revisit this issue” as proof the program could have been continued.

Judge Garaufis is the second federal judge to rule Mr. Trump’s aides bungled the phaseout — but his decision is the most wide-ranging, ordering the government to not only allow those already in the program to renew their applications but also ordering the government to accept new applications.

“The question before the court is thus not whether defendants could end the DACA program, but whether they offered legally adequate reasons for doing so,” wrote Judge Garaufis, a Clinton appointee to the court in New York. “Based on its review of the record before it, the court concludes that defendants have not done so.”

The decision is more wide ranging than a Jan. 9 ruling by U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco that DACA must remain in place while litigation challenging Trump’s decision continues.

The legal battle over DACA complicates a debate currently underway in Congress on whether to change the nation’s immigration laws.

The Supreme Court on Friday is due to consider whether to take up the administration’s appeal of the San Francisco ruling. The court could announce as soon as Friday afternoon whether it will hearing the case.

Garaufis said the administration could eventually rescind the DACA program but that the reasons it gave last September for rescinding it were too arbitrary and could not stand. The judge ordered the administration to process DACA renewal applications on the same terms as had been in place before the president took his action.

In a statement, U.S. Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley said DACA was implemented unilaterally by Trump’s Democratic predecessor Barack Obama and thus unlawfully circumvented Congress.

“The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend this position, and looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation,” O’Malley said.

Often called “Dreamers,” hundreds of thousands of young adults, mostly Hispanics, have been granted protection from deportation and given work permits under DACA, which was created in 2012.

EARLIER: Immigration Agency Says Resume DACA Renewals After Court Ends Trump Repeal – Washington, D.C., USA: In a statement on Saturday, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – said that “until further notice,” the Obama-era program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, “will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded” in September, when President Donald Trump moved to end it.

The decision came after a federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction on Tuesday ordering the Trump administration to resume the DACA program.

The agency said on Saturday that people who were previously granted deferred action under the program could request a renewal if it had expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016. People who had previously received DACA, but whose deferred action had expired before Sept. 5, 2016, cannot renew, but can instead file a new request, the agency said. It noted that the same instructions apply to anyone whose deferred action had been terminated.

But officials also said they were not accepting requests from individuals who have never been granted deferred action under DACA.

Judge William Alsup of Federal District Court in San Francisco ruled that the administration must “maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis” as the legal challenge to the president’s decision goes forward.

In his ruling, the judge laid out a road map for the government that officials appeared to follow. He said that previous beneficiaries of DACA, known as Dreamers, must be allowed to renew their status in the program, though the government would not be required to accept new applications from immigrants who had not previously submitted one.

The Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program shields from deportation young immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States as children.

“They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper,” President Barak Obama said in announcing the new DACA policy in June 2012. Under the change by President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security stopped initiating the deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the United States before age 16, have lived here for at least five years, and are in school, are high school graduates or are military veterans in good standing. The immigrants must also be not more than 30 and have clean criminal records.

EARLIER : Federal Judge Orders Resumption Of Renewal Applications From Existing DACA Enrollees – San Francisco, California, USA : US District Judge William Alsup, on Tuesday night, in San Francisco, ordered the Trump administration to partially revive the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, finding that challengers to the administration’s decision to end the program were likely to succeed on their claims that the move was “arbitrary and capricious.”

Under the order from US District Judge William Alsup, the Trump administration must resume accepting renewal applications from individuals who were already enrolled in the program. Alsup did not order the administration to accept new applications, however, writing that the plaintiffs had only shown that existing recipients were likely to suffer “irreparable harm” absent immediate intervention from the court.

The Justice Department is likely to appeal the order.

Trump on Tuesday continued negotiations with congressional leaders about a possible deal to revive the program’s protections ahead of a March deadline, potentially in exchange for tighter border security.

The Obama-era program, which President Trump moved to end in September, protects some young undocumented people brought to the country as children from deportation.

DACA was among the issues discussed at a bipartisan immigration meeting on Tuesday.

Trump indicated he would support what those in the room came up with, adding that he was willing to “take the heat” to back a bipartisan deal.

Trump at one point said he wants a “bill of love” to address DACA, and in another instance appeared to voice support for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) suggestion of a clean DACA bill while dealing with other issues, like border security, later.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) quickly clarified Feinstein’s comments, reminding Trump of the need to implement border-security measures in exchange for DACA.

EARLIER : Congress In Race Against Time As Trump Ends DACA – Washington D.C., USA Sept 5th: Today September 5, 2017, U. S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, on behalf of the Trump administration, announced an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows nearly 800,000 Dreamers the basic opportunity to work and study without the threat of deportation. DACA recipients will begin losing their protection next March 6 unless Congress acts before then, the Trump administration announced today.

Here are the top 4 things to know about his announcement:

DACA and work permits (Employment Authorization Documents) will remain valid until its expiration date. To determine when your DACA and work permit expires, look at your 1-795 Approval Notice and the bottom of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) no longer will accept or process first-time applications after September 5, 2017.

If you have a permit that will expire between now and March 5, 2018, you must apply for a two-year renewal of your DACA by October 5, 2017.

4. ADVANCE PAROLE TO TRAVEL ABROAD IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will no longer grant DACA recipients permission to travel abroad through Advance Parole. Any pending applications for advance parole will not be processed and DHS will refund any associated fees.

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