THE Trump administration’s rules limiting applications and renewals for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are invalid, a federal judge ruled over the weekend.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled on Saturday, November 14 that the suspension of DACA, which protects some 650,000 young immigrants, was unlawful because Chad Wolf was not legally appointed acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
“DHS failed to follow the order of succession as it was lawfully designated,” wrote Garaufis. “Therefore, the actions taken by purported Acting Secretaries, who were not properly in their roles according to the lawful order of succession, were taken without legal authority.”
On July 28, Wolf suspended the DACA program pending DHS review, despite the U.S. Supreme Court blocking the Trump administration’s plan to dismantle the program a month before.
The memo further stated that the administration would suspend new applications, while having renewals only for one year instead of two.
The Obama-era program granted renewable deportation protections of two years to certain young undocumented immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children. Aside from being able to stay in the U.S., recipients were able to work legally which allowed many to pursue higher education and pursue other career goals. The program, however, does not offer a pathway to citizenship for the grantees.
Saturday’s ruling restores DACA to nearly its original purpose as new applications will be accepted for the first time since 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal.
According to Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), an affiliation of five independent civil rights organizations, at least 16,000 DACA recipients are of Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent.
Between 2012 and 2017, at least 3,880 Filipinos were granted DACA protection, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). (AJPress)