A judge on Saturday opposed White House restrictions on a program to protect 700,000 so-called “dreamers”, undocumented migrants brought to the United States as children.
The New York federal judge ruled that President Donald Trump’s acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, was illegally serving in his role when he issued the new rules for the DACA program in July.
The ruling is yet another victory for Barack Obama-era program supporters after the US Supreme Court rejected Trump’s repeal in June.
President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump in the November 3 election, had pledged to resume the program when he takes office on January 20.
Wolf, who was not confirmed in his role by the US Senate, has imposed new restrictions on the program in response to the Supreme Court ruling.
The court ruling on Saturday said his restrictions had “effectively suspended” the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) while the Trump administration scrutinized the way forward.
Wolf’s rules were that new applications would not be accepted and extensions would be limited to one year instead of two.
They are now invalid because “the court found that Mr. Wolf was not legally acting as Minister for Internal Security under the Internal Security Act” when he released them, the judgment said.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis said the correct succession order had not been followed in the appointment as acting secretary.
It wasn’t the first time Wolf questioned the legality of his appointment as acting secretary in 2019.
Trump took office, pledging to stop almost all immigration and evict the estimated more than 10 million people estimated to have lived in the country for decades without legal immigration documents.
The Obama administration tried to address the problem in 2012. The DACA policy provided protection for people who were illegally brought to the United States as children and then grew up here during renewable two-year periods, including work permits.
DACA and the subsequent DAPA program – Deferred Actions for American Parents and Legitimate Permanent Residents – were executive measures taken by Obama to end the ongoing threat of deporting more than four million undocumented migrants.
Trump canceled DAPA shortly after taking office and then went after the more established DACA, but was immediately faced with a series of legal battles.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)