Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
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Second judge blocks Trump from ending DACA

Second judge blocks Trump from ending DACA

The Brooklyn-based Federal District Court judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, issued an injunction today mandating the Trump administration to keep DACA in place, safeguarding some 800,000 undocumented youth who benefit from the program from deportation.

NY state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who leads a coalition of 17 attorneys general who sued to protect DACA and Dreamers, hailed Garaufis's decision as a "victory".

Awaiting the judge's decision today, Trump further tried to force Congress's hand tweeting, "Negotiations on DACA have begun".

"Defendants indisputably can end the DACA program", the judge wrote in Tuesday's opinion. "The court concludes that defendants have not done so".

The Senate's top Democrat, Chuck Schumer of NY, quickly objected.

In his order, Garaufis acknowledged the Trump administration absolutely has a right to change immigration policies as it sees fit.

On Jan. 13, four days after a federal judge in San Francisco issued an injunction blocking the Trump's attempt to end the program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting renewal applications from people approved for the Obama-era program.

Judge Garaufis said that was not a compelling argument, and said DACA is neither unconstitutional nor illegal. 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.

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.

Yet Garaufis' decision failed to achieve one of the big goals of the plaintiffs: forcing the Trump administration to process new applications for those who would have become eligible since the September 5 recision memo was announced. The administration appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is considering if it will take up the case. He said that the courts will vindicate the administration's position that it acted properly in ending the program.

Justice Department spokesperson Devin O'Malley said in a statement that the department would continue to "vigorously" defend the administration's decision to end DACA.

The administration will also seek $782 million to hire and support 2,750 new Customs and Border Protection officers and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents - roughly the same increase it sought in its fiscal 2018 budget request.

The Department of Homeland Security has been accepting renewal applications since Alsup's order came down.

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