Second U.S. Federal Judge Blocks DACA Rollback

U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis called the government's reasons for rollback “arbitrary.”


A month after a U.S. judge ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program must stay in place until the hearing over the case is on, a second federal judge from New York City stepped into the heated immigration debate by saying that the policy cannot end in March as President Donald Trump intends.

In September last year, President Trump rolled back the Obama era DACA, which protects around 800,000 people and provides temporary permits for work and study. The enforcement of the rollback was pushed to give the Trump administration time to think of alternative plans for Dreamers, the undocumented migrant children who made the United States their home.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis on Feb. 13 called the government’s reasons for rollback “arbitrary” and ordered the administration to process DACA applications under the terms of the Obama-era rule.

The decision comes on the heels of an injunction issued last month by U.S. District Judge William Alsup from San Francisco, who said the Justice Department’s argument of the DACA scheme was illegal, and based on “flawed legal premise.”

After the ruling on Feb.13, a U.S. Department of Justice spokesman reiterated that the Obama-era DACA scheme was “unlawfully implemented” and was, therefore, unconstitutional. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend this position, and looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation,” Devin O’Malley said in a statement.

The U.S. Supreme Court is due to consider the administration’s appeal against the San Francisco judge’s ruling on Feb. 16. Meanwhile, there have been marches by Indian American groups to protect the cause of Dreamers. Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi gave a record 8-hour marathon speech on the House floor in their cause on Feb. 7. Several House Democrats also brought in the Reuniting Families Act at a press conference on Feb.6 , which aims to remove the backlog in family-based immigration.

Reuniting Families Act, sponsored by J Congresswoman Judy Chu, will have provisions such as eliminating per-country immigration limits, reclassifying spouses and minor children as immediate family members who are not subject to the per-country limits, protection of widows and orphans who would be able to wait for their visa after death of sponsoring relative, and recapturing unused employment-based and family-sponsored visas from fiscal years 1992-2016.

The DACA was put in place by the Barack Obama administration to protect children of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

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