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  • People protest for immigration reform that will allow DACA recipients a path to citizenry through the Dream Act, which has been in legislative debate since 2011. Los Angeles, Jan. 22, 2018.

    People protest for immigration reform that will allow DACA recipients a path to citizenry through the Dream Act, which has been in legislative debate since 2011. Los Angeles, Jan. 22, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 February 2018

DACA is saved by another federal judge calling the administration's attempt to repeal the program, "erroneous, … arbitrary and capricious."

DACA is saved by another federal judge, for the meantime.

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.

Judge Garaufis called the Trump administration’s push to repeal DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) under the premise that it’s "unconstitutional" as "erroneous, … arbitrary and capricious." The federal court judge said the White House could potentially repeal DACA, but that the evidence it provided in the case was "legally inadequate" to prove the program’s unconstitutionality.

The NY judged added that ending DACA would have "profound and irreversible" social effects on the hundreds of thousands of youths, their friends, families, and communities in the U.S.

DACA, in effect since 2012, enables those born after 1981 and were brought to the U.S. by their parents or guardians before 2007 to work and remain in the country undocumented.

"It impossible to understand the full consequences of a decision of this magnitude," wrote Garaufis in his ruling.

The case landed in the NY court after, when on Sept. 5th Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the administration would end DACA on March 5th, NY Attorney Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against the federal government saying the DACA repeal was based on "racial animus" against Latinos.

The administration’s March 5th date was intended to force Congress to pass legislation by that time to replace the program in exchange for funding Trump’s campaign promise to finish the border wall and increasing immigration control.

Awaiting the judge's decision today, Trump further tried to force Congress's hand tweeting, "Negotiations on DACA have begun. Republicans want to make a deal and Democrats say they want to make a deal. Wouldn’t it be great if we could finally, after so many years, solve the DACA puzzle. This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity! March 5th."

 

Garaufis is the second federal judge that has decided on behalf of DACA recipients. Last month a California court judge ruled to maintain DACA in place. The administration appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is considering if it will take up the case.

The injunction forces the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), charged to oversee the program to continue to accept applications, which it had ceased to do in December.

Today’s federal judge ruling does have its downside for current and potential program beneficiaries. The injunction does not apply to those who submitted their DACA paperwork after September 5th and the does not have to accept new applications after March 5th and can decide renewals on a case-by-case basis.

According to the New York Times DHS will reject all applications after that date. Since Trump’s September decision about 100 recipients per day have lost their DACA status.
 


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