Judge Rules States Lawsuit Against Trump DACA Repeal Can Proceed

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

New York City, USA: U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled in New York, Thursday, that a lawsuit by the District of Columbia and 15 states against President Trump’s decision to end Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program can proceed, rejecting a request by the Trump administration to dismiss it.

Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis said the plaintiffs — which include New York State — could proceed with a claim that Trump’s decision to rescind the Obama-era program was racially motivated and was intended to unlawfully target Latinos. He however narrowed the scope of the legal action.

The Trump administration argued that the lawsuit — particularly the claim that the president’s actions were racially motivated — should be thrown out, because there was no evidence to prove it.

The plaintiffs – state attorneys general – maintained that Trump’s statements about Mexicans on the campaign trail and in the White House amount to proof that he acted with hostility toward minority groups.

“Although the use of racial slurs, epithets, or other racially charged language does not violate equal protection, it can be evidence that official action was motivated by unlawful discriminatory purposes,” Garaufis wrote in his ruling.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) applauded the ruling Thursday.

“We look forward to continuing our litigation to protect Dreamers, along with the businesses and institutions they contribute to every day in New York and across the country,” he tweeted.

Trump moved in September to rescind DACA, seeking to end the program by March 5, but gave lawmakers six months to come up with a legislative fix that would extend legal protections to Dreamers.

Congressional is yet to act, though court action has dreamers deportation protections for now. Garaufis previously issued an injunction barring the Trump administration from moving forward with deportations of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, known as “Dreamers,” who were offered protections under DACA.

EARLIER: Supreme Court Will Not Let Trump Bypass 9th Circuit In His Bid To End DACA – The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected the Trump administration’s highly unusual bid to get the justices to bypass the 9th circuit court of Appeals in San Francisco and intervene in the controversy over the Obama-era DACA protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants.

The justices on Monday refused to take up the administration’s appeal of the lower court order that requires the administration to continue accepting renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. What made the appeal unusual is that the administration sought to bypass the federal appeals court in San Francisco and go directly to the Supreme Court.

In a brief unsigned comment, the justices they assume “the court of appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case.”

A judge in New York also has ruled in favor of immigrants challenging the end of DACA, and that case is expected to proceed to the federal appeals court in New York.

President Donald Trump had set March 5 as the end date for the DACA program. The court order says applications must be accepted indefinitely. DACA has provided protection from deportation and work permits for about 800,000 young people, many who were brought to the U.S. illegally.

It’s unclear how the court’s action Monday will affect efforts in Congress to come up with a legislative fix. The Senate recently failed to pass an immigration bill.

The Supreme Court rarely hears a case before a lower appeals court has considered it. The fight over whether President Richard Nixon had to turn over the Watergate tapes is one such example.

EARLIER: Supreme Court To Hold Closed-Door Meeting On DACA – Following a direct request from the Justice Department to decide the case, the Supreme Court will hold a closed-door meeting to consider the possibility of reviewing the opinion of federal Northern California District Judge William Alsup, who blocked President Trump’s decision to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – according to media reports.

The department wants the court to rule on whether the administration must continue to accept DACA renewal applications from participants after federal Northern California District Judge William Alsup blocked President Trump decision to end the program.

The federal government acted on the judge’s opinion that the department improperly terminated DACA, citing a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The lower court did not rule on whether the program, implemented by an executive memorandum under President Obama, was unconstitutional, as some Republicans in Congress and administration officials have argued
Alsup wrote that the “decision to rescind DACA was based on a flawed legal premise.”

Another federal judge in New York City also issued an injunction barring the administration from ending the program amid the many legal complaints against its cancellation.

Congress is currently trying to agree on a legislative fix for the program that allows temporary work permits for roughly 700,000 immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children.

Trump announced in September that the program was rescinded with a six-month delay so that there would be time. But a March 5 deadline is fast approaching.

Lawmakers are now scrambling after a number of proposals on immigration were shot down in the Senate on Thursday, including several that would offer amnesty to DACA recipients in exchange for tighter border control measures and funding for a border wall.

The White House plan to end DACA is at the forefront of the debate on illegal immigration.

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