President Donald Trump’s decision to end a current program that allows for the protection of immigrants brought to the United States undocumented as children from deportation has been blocked by a second U.S. judge.
This ruling is a victory for those state attorney generals and immigrants who sued the Republican administration over the President’s decision. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) cannot end in March as the original plan intended.
Judge Garaufis, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, wrote in a court order saying the administration could not revoke the program “pending a decision on the merits of these cases.”
Last month, San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge William Alsup made a similar ruling, ordering the administration to continue processing DACA applications. The legal battle over DACA could complicate a current debate in Congress regarding whether or not to change the nation’s immigration laws.
Because of these two court injunctions, existing beneficiaries are allowed to apply to renew their DACA permit, which lasts for two years and protections them from deportation.
Following this ruling, the Trump administration formally asked the Supreme Court to review this decision, but the justices have not made a decision yet about hearing the case.
This past September, President Trump announced that he planned to repeal the program. Trump gave lawmakers until March 5 to pass legislation placing the program’s protections into law. Since the President’s announcement, lawmakers have been scrambling to reach a deal for the DACA program before the deadline.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said that he still wants to pass legislation on DACA next month, but with a lesser focus on the deadline Trump set back in September.
“We think this deadline’s an important deadline. Obviously, with the court ruling it’s not as important as it was before,” Ryan explained.
Under DACA, thousands of young adults, primarily Hispanics, have been protected from deportation and given work permits. The program was designed in 2012 under Barack Obama’s presidency to protect these “Dreamers”. According to DHS, there were 689,000 registered recipients when the end of the program was announced. And while the average American moves about 12 times during their life, lawmakers are fighting to ensure these immigrants don’t have to move out of the country.
With 42,000 DACA recipients living in New York state, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) saw Judge Garaufis’ ruling as quite the victory.
“Federal courts from coast to coast have now reviewed the record and reached the same conclusion: President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA was illegal,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Today’s ruling reflects not only the illegality of the Trump Administration’s move to rescind DACA, but also the clear and demonstrable benefits DACA provides to New Yorkers across our great state.”