A federal judge has once again foiled President Donald Trump’s efforts to limit both legal and illegal immigration: Late Tuesday night, a US judge in San Francisco issued a temporary injunction against the president’s decision to end a program shielding young people brought to the US illegally by their parents from deportation.
The Trump administration announced in September it would rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a decision that was challenged in multiple federal courts by a variety of Democratic state attorneys general, organizations and individuals, as Reuters reported.
This time, the administration’s antagonist is US District Judge William Alsup, who ruled the program must remain in place while the litigation is resolved. The ruling could complicate negotiations between Trump and congressional leaders over immigration reform.
The White House responded Thursday morning, saying the ruling was “outrageous.”
“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. An issue of this magnitude must go through the normal legislative process.”
Per the Washington Post, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision to terminate the program on Sept. 5 and said no renewal applications would be accepted after Oct. 5. Under the administration’s plan, permits that expired after March 5 cannot be renewed.
According to WaPo, nearly 690,000 people who were brought to the US as children will continue to be covered by DACA as long as they were previously registered before Sessions made his September announcement.
A spokesman for the Department of Justice said the ruling “doesn’t change…its position”.
“Today’s order doesn’t change the Department of Justice’s position on the facts,” said the department’s spokesman Devin M. O’Malley. The department “will continue to vigorously defend this position,” he said.
However, so-called Dreamers who haven’t already registered for protected status no longer can: Alsup ruled that the federal government did not need to process new applications from people who had never before received protection under the program. However, the judge ordered the government to continue processing renewal applications from people who had previously been covered.
“DACA gave them a more tolerable set of choices, including joining the mainstream workforce,” Alsup wrote. “Now, absent an injunction, they will slide back to the pre-DACA era and associated hardship.”
And as the Wall Street Journal reminds us, a different federal judge in San Francisco in November issued a permanent, nationwide injection barring the administration from withholding some federal grant money from so-called sanctuary cites, which don’t cooperate with immigration authorities.
Democrats are pushing to enshrine DACA protections into law as part of an immigration deal with the White House. This ruling presumably gives them more time to reach such a deal.
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Update: White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders has responded:
“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,”
“An issue of this magnitude must go through the normal legislative process”
“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”
Update 2: Trump lashed out at the ninth circuit Wednesday morning after yet another judge temporarily blocked his decision to throw out DACA protections for some 690,000 people who were brought to the US as children.
It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2018
Judges from the ninth circuit – most notably a set of federal judges from Hawaii – have issued injunctions blocking every iteration of Trump’s travel ban.