WASHINGTON – The White House blasted on Wednesday a judge’s decision ordering US President Donald Trump to partially revive the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy.
Judge William Alsup, district judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, ruled on Tuesday in San Francisco that Trump’s administration must temporarily continue to accept renewal applications from beneficiaries of the program, which then-head of state Barack Obama created by executive order in 2012 to shield hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants (known as DREAMers) from deportation.
Trump announced the discontinuation of that program in September and said Congress had until March 2018 to find a solution for these people – brought to the US illegally as children – before he begins phasing out DACA’s protections.
“We find this decision to be outrageous, especially in light of the president’s successful bipartisan meeting with House and Senate members at the White House on the same day,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
“An issue of this magnitude must go through the normal legislative process,” Sanders said. “President Trump is committed to the rule of law and will work with members of both parties to reach a permanent solution that corrects the unconstitutional actions taken by the last administration.”
Alsup, however, ruled that Trump’s decision to rescind the DACA program was “arbitrary” and “capricious.”
On Tuesday, Trump held a televised meeting with Republican and Democratic lawmakers in search of a solution for DREAMers, as potential beneficiaries of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act are known.
Trump is looking to secure funding for a border wall as part of a deal that would allow DREAMers to gain permanent legal status.
Many of his hard-core supporters, however, were furious at the president for indicating during the meeting that he favored “comprehensive immigration” reform, a taboo term for hardliners that implies a path to citizenship for undocumented migrants.
Numerous versions of the DREAM act have been introduced in Congress over the past 17 years in a bid to provide a path to legal status for individuals brought into the US unlawfully as children.
Roughly 690,000 DREAMers are currently enrolled in the DACA program and thus shielded from deportation.