Law & Courts

Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Decision to End DACA

By Corey Mitchell — January 10, 2018 2 min read
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A federal judge in California has temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for undocumented immigrants, the Associated Press reports.

On Tuesday, Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California in San Francisco ruled that the Department of Homeland Security must allow former DACA recipients who failed to renew their status by an October 5 deadline a chance to submit renewal applications for the program, which grants work permits and protection from deportation for 700,000 immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

The ruling also requires the agency to allow renewal of applications expiring in the foreseeable future. However, the Trump administration does not have to process new DACA applications for immigrants who have not previously applied, Alsup ruled.

The Trump administration announced plans to sunset DACA last fall, calling on Congress to find a legislative fix by March. Lawmakers and the White House are in the midst of negotiations toward a January 19 deadline for government funding with the fate of DACA linked to the negotiations.

Republicans and Democrats are searching for a way to allow DACA recipients—known as Dreamers—to remain in the United States while also addressing border security concerns.

In a statement issued today, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Alsup’s decision “outrageous.”

“President Trump is committed to the rule of law and will work with members of both parties to reach a permanent solution,” Sanders’ statement read in part.

It is not clear how the court order will affect the ongoing negotiations. Some immigration advocates are concerned that nothing will happen before the March 5 cutoff.

Meanwhile, immigration advocates celebrated Alsup’s ruling.

“Since President Trump rescinded DACA, we’ve been fighting on every front to ensure that immigrant youth have a secure future in this country, which is their home,” said Karen Tumlin, legal director at the National Immigration Law Center.

“This victory should make it even more clear that Congress must act now. Dreamers—and our nation—deserve more than temporary relief from the courts; they deserve a bipartisan Dream Act,” Tumlin said. “The American people, a majority of Congress and the President all want to see it happen. It’s time for Congress to get it done.”

Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for more restrictive immigration policy, criticized the decision on Twitter, citing Alsup’s ruling as further proof of a “lawless judiciary.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.