U.S. Judge Orders Trump to Revive DACA


A federal judge on Tuesday ordered President Donald Trump to partially revive the DACA program for undocumented youth and to continue accepting applications until all pending legal challenges are resolved in the different courts across the country.

Issuing a temporary injunction, U.S. District Judge William Alsup, of the Northern District Court of California, called Trump’s decision last September to end the program, and to give Congress until March 5 to find a solution to resolve the legal status of DACA recipients both  “arbitrary” and “capricious.”

The DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, created in 2012 by then President Barack Obama, protects undocumented youth — often referred to as “Dreamers”  — from deportation and has granted temporary work permits to some 690,000 young people who arrived to the U.S. when they were children.

In his ruling issued Tuesday, Alsup declared that the Trump administration is obligated to accept requests for DACA renewals by individuals who previously benefited from the program and are now without protection.

U.S. President, Donald Trump, participates in a meeting with 25 congressmen and senators from both parties in the White House in Washington. (EFE/Shawn Thew)

However, the government is not required to accept new applications from young people who had not previously submitted an application, according to the ruling.

Alsup said the plaintiffs, including the University of California, had demonstrated that DACA beneficiaries, their families, schools and communities would suffer “irreparable harm” if the program is eliminated.

In order to avoid that damage, Alsup ordered Trump to keep the program partially alive until there is a definite resolution to all pending litigation over the DACA program.

Among those cases is, for example, the lawsuit filed last Sept. 11 by the states of California, Maryland, Maine and Minnesota, home to more than 238,000 “Dreamers.”

These states allege that the end of DACA will disrupt the lives of its residents, cause great damage to their economies, businesses, and universities and research centers that employ undocumented youth as a result of DACA, who will no longer being able to work in the country legally.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Wednesday that the Court had “determined that the merits of California’s case are strong, that there would be immediate harm if the Administration’s plan to terminate DACA were to proceed, and that the public interest is served by prohibiting the Administration from ending DACA before the legal issues are ruled on.

“Dreamers’ lives were thrown into chaos when the Trump Administration tried to terminate the DACA program without obeying the law,” Becerra said.

The University of California, which filed a lawsuit challenging the president’s action on DACA, issued a statement Tuesday saying the university system “is pleased and encouraged that the court has granted an injunction to temporarily stop the Department of Homeland Security’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“This crucial decision allows nearly 800,000 DACA recipients to stay in the United States as lawsuits over the legality of the DACA rescission make their way through the courts,” said the UC’s statement, which also noted, however, that the temporary injunction does not end the “fear and uncertainty” among DACA recipients across California … who want to continue to live, work, learn and contribute to the country they know as home.

“It does not negate, nor lessen, the urgent need for permanent protection through a legislative solution,” the statement reads.

The ruling by Judge Alsup, who was appointed to his post in 1999 by President Bill Clinton, is temporary, and it is likely that the executive branch will lodge an appeal.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, Devin O’Malley, said the federal government “will continue to strongly defend” the president’s action in the courts, saying that the Obama-era program was created in an “illegal” manner, a point they will prove in “future litigation.”

On Wednesday, President Trump attacked what he called an “unjust” judicial system.

“It shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by the higher courts,” wrote Trump on his official Twitter account.

EGP Managing Editor Gloria Alvarez contributed to this story,

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January 10, 2018  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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