A second federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to accept renewal applications from DACA recipients, ruling Tuesday that the government improperly terminated the program offering protections from deportation to young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S.as children.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that handles DACA, did not have an immediate reaction to the ruling. Created by the Obama administration through executive action in 2012, DACA now protects almost 700,000 Dreamers from deportation.
Garaufis' order, then, overlaps with that of U.S. District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California.
In September, President Trump announced that his administration would be ending DACA.
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.
Compromises presented to the White House have been spiked for not meeting the benchmarks laid out by the West Wing.
U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in NY ruled Tuesday that the government hasn't offered legally adequate reasons for ending the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - or DACA. Susanna Evarts, of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at Yale Law School, said the judge determined that the way the Trump government ended DACA was "arbitrary and capricious". Second, this "erroneous conclusion" relied on the findings in the courts that DACA's sister program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, was legally unsustainable.
The Department of Homeland Security has been accepting renewal applications since Alsup's order came down. "As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress", the Justice Department said in a statement.
Garaufis ruled in two lawsuits, one filed by an individual who had been a DACA recipient and one filed by a coalition of Democratic state attorneys general, led by the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
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. The DREAM Act - Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors - was legislation that offered numerous same protections as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals administrative program but never passed Congress.
The legal battle over DACA complicates a debate now underway in Congress on whether to change the nation's immigration laws.