WASHINGTON – A US judge ordered US President Donald Trump on Tuesday to partially revive the DACA immigration policy and to resume accepting renewal applications from undocumented youth migrants or “Dreamers” until all pending legal challenges are resolved in different courts across the country.
District Judge William Alsup, from the Northern District Court of California, issued his ruling on Tuesday in which he described Trump’s decision in September 2017 to end DACA and to give Congress until March 5 to resolve the situation of its beneficiaries as “arbitrary and capricious.”
Promulgated in 2012 by the administration of then president Barack Obama, the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) policy protected some 690,000 “Dreamers,” young people who arrived in the US when they were children, from deportation and granted them a temporary work permit.
In the ruling issued Tuesday, Judge Alsup said that the Trump administration has the obligation to accept the renewal applications under DACA from those individuals who had previously received the benefits of this scheme but are now running out of protection.
However, he did not order the Trump administration to accept new applications from young people who had never registered in the DACA program before.
Judge Alsup also decided that the plaintiffs, including the University of California, have been able to demonstrate that the DACA beneficiaries, their families, schools and communities “were likely to suffer serious, irreparable harm” without the program.
In order to avoid that, the judge ordered Trump to partially resume the program until there is a definitive solution in all pending litigation over the scheme.
Among those cases is, for example, the lawsuit filed on Sept. 11 by the states of California, Maryland, Maine and Minnesota, where 238,000 “Dreamers” live.
These states argue that the end of DACA will disrupt the lives of their residents, causing great damage to the economies as well as losses to their companies, universities and research centers that employ undocumented youths, who would no longer be able to work legally after the program’s termination.
The decision made on Tuesday by Judge Alsup, who was appointed to the position in 1999 by President Bill Clinton, is temporary.
The US Department of Justice spokesperson Devin O’Malley said in a statement that the government “will continue to vigorously defend” its stance that the DACA was an illegal circumvention of Congress by the Obama administration and “looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation.”
However, O’Malley refused to confirm to EFE if the Trump administration was planning to appeal the ruling.