A federal judge on Tuesday night ordered the Trump administration to revive
part of the program that protected children illegally brought to the United
States by their parents from being deported, calling the administration's
abrupt decision to end the program last year "arbitrary" and
The ruling came just hours after a bipartisan meeting between President
Donald Trump and members of Congress appeared to have moved negotiations
forward, however slightly, on how to address the fate of undocumented
immigrants under the DACA program.
The Department of Homeland Security, or DHS,
rescinded the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, in September and said
it would stop accepting applications from people already covered under
the act to renew their two-year DACA permits. The administration said
the repeal would take effect in March.
Partly granting a request from the University of California, U.S. District
Judge William Alsup issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday night in San
Francisco ordering DHS to resume accepting renewal applications from people
who are already protected under DACA while challenges to the September
order work their way through the courts. But DHS doesn't have to accept
new applications, he ruled.
Alsup, who was nominated to the court by President Bill Clinton, scolded
DHS for having presented no analysis of the impact its order would have
on the almost 700,000 young people "who had come to rely on DACA
to live and to work in this country."
"These individuals had submitted substantial personal identifying
information to the government, paid hefty fees, and planned their lives
according to the dictates of DACA," Alsup wrote. "The administrative
record includes no consideration to the disruption a rescission would
have on the lives of DACA recipients, let alone their families, employers
and employees, schools and communities."
And he called the government's argument that DHS doesn't even have
the authority to administer DACA "arbitrary, capricious and an abuse
At the same time, he wrote, the plaintiffs "have not made a comparable
showing as to individuals who have never applied for or obtained DACA"
— so DHS doesn't have to process new requests for protection.
The White House, in a Wednesday morning statement, ripped the decision
as "outrageous, especially in light of the President's successful
bipartisan meeting with House and Senate members at the White House on
the same day."
"An issue of this magnitude must go through the normal legislative
process," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee 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."
In a statement, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra called Alsup's
ruling "a huge step in the right direction."
The Department of Justice said the decision doesn’t change its view
that the program was an illegal circumvention of Congress, and it is within
the agency’s power to end it.
“The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend this position,
and looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation,”
spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Alsup issued his ruling only a few hours after a bipartisan meeting between
President Donald Trump and members of Congress
on DACA and border security that was made open to the press.
The White House and members of both parties said they agreed that issues
to be worked out included DACA, border security, changes to family-based
migration, also known as chain migration, and the visa lottery system.
No agreements were immediately reached. During the meeting, Trump reiterated
that he was willing to revive DACA, at least in the short term, but only
in return for funding for a wall that the president wants to build along
the U.S.-Mexican border.
Surprising observers and participants in the room, Trump said he wanted
"a bill of love" to address the initial issues first then endorsed
moving ahead on comprehensive immigration reform once those are addressed.
"We'll do DACA," Trump said at the start of the meeting.
"Then we can start comprehensive immigration reform the next afternoon."
The bipartisan meeting came at a particularly tenuous time, with Congress
facing the threat of a government shutdown in just 10 days and the lack
of agreement on DACA tangling up efforts to keep the government’s
Late Tuesday, Trump repeated on Twitter that a wall "must be part
of any DACA approval."
NBC News reported on Friday that the
Department of Homeland Security has requested $18 billion in funding to
complete the wall, a key campaign promise of Trump's.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the minority whip, called the $18 billion request
The plan would include 316 miles of new fencing and 407 miles of reinforcing
existing fence over the next decade.
Republican senators who have been talking to the White House have been
softly redefining the definition of a border wall for the past week, saying
Trump wasn't literal when he promised a physical structure spanning
the entire length of the southern border.
At the meeting Tuesday, Trump appeared to be talking in similar terms,
and he didn't mention that Mexico would pay for it.
"We are doing a study of that right now, but there are large areas
where you do not need a wall because you have a mountain, and you have
a river, you have a violent river. You don't need it," he said.
REVILLA LAW FIRM, P.A.
Miami immigration law firm - we handle all immigration cases
Our Miami immigration attorneys have decades of experience in all areas
of immigration law. Antonio G. Revilla is a Former U.S. Immigration Prosecutor
and a Miami immigraton attorney with over 25 years of legal experience.
If you have any questions about DACA or any other immigration matter,
contact our office to schedule a free in-office consultation with Mr.
Revilla. He will thoroughly review your immigration case and provide guidance
on how to proceed.
Call today (305) 858-2323 or toll free (877) 854-2323