San Francisco Judge Rules That DACA Must Remain (for Now)
While the GOP-run administration slowly strips TPS protections for some of the most vulnerable immigrants in the nation, a federal judge in San Francisco has issued a notice that for the time being, President Trump must allow DACA to continue and not stop the program in March as was the administration’s original plan.
In his ruling, Judge William Alsup that the administration “must” uphold DACA for the time being, allowing those already enrolled in the program to renew their status. On the flip side, however, Alsup ruled that DACA does not need to accept *new* applicants as part of the program.
“DACA covers a class of immigrants whose presence, seemingly all agree, pose the least, if any, threat and allows them to sign up for honest labor on the condition of continued good behavior,” Alsup wrote in his decision. “This has become an important program for DACA recipients and their families, for the employers who hire them, for our tax treasuries, and for our economy.” Alsup also said he didn’t believe the administration did a thorough review before deciding to axe the program.
Immigration advocate Camille Mackler told The Times that Alsup’s ruling wasn’t a win, however. “We’re obviously glad that this is going to provide some relief, but what we really need is a clean Dream Act.” The idea of a ‘clean’ Dream Act has been floated around Washington over the last year, as lawmakers have tried to reconcile the administration’s agenda with protecting vulnerable populations in the country.
During a televised meeting between Democrats and Republicans earlier in the day on Tuesday, President Trump said that he hopes that the government can reach a bipartisan agreement on immigration. During the meeting, the president seemed to do an about-face, telling reporters he hoped to see a pathway to citizenship for many, saying he would “take the heat” politically for any fallout on that stance.
Late Tuesday night, the Justice Department issued a statement, saying that the judge’s ruling doesn’t alter their belief that DACA contravenes federal law, and therefore must end.
DACA, short for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was put into place by the Obama administration in 2012. The aim of DACA has been to protect young people from being deported if they were brought to the US by their families as children, before they were old enough to have any decision-making power over the process. The idea is that young people who did not choose to immigrate to the US, but had that decision made for them by their parents, should be given a shot at a future.
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(Photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)