A federal judge has temporarily blocked Tuesday night Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, which protects immigrants who were taken to the United States without authorization as children.
U.S. President Donald Trump canceled the five-year-old program, which currently benefits 800,000 people, known as dreamers, on Sept. 5, 2017. However, the decision has been challenged in multiple federal courts by states, organizations and individuals. Among them, the University of California, the city of San Jose and the Santa Clara county in California, and the states of Maine, Minnesota and Maryland.
William Alsup, a San Francisco district judge, ruled that the federal government must continue to enforce the program and process applications of those who want to stop their deportation until the lawsuits and legal challenges are resolved. The ruling does not refer to new applicants who were not previously benefited by DACA.
Alsup’s ruling also referred to Trump’s termination of the DACA program as “arbitrary.”
DACA was established in 2012 by former President Barack Obama as a way to bypass Congress’ inability to pass immigration reform, granting protection from deportation and temporary work permits to the more than half a million undocumented young men and women.
Trump ran for president on anti-immigration platform that included the elimination of Obama-era programs such as DACA and the building of a “wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border. After announcing the formal elimination of the DACA program, Trump gave Congress a March 5, 2018 deadline to “legalize DACA.” After that date the administration hopes DACA's termination will go into effect.
However, on Saturday the president conditioned support for protecting dreamers on Congress’ approval of US$18 billion to build the controversial “wall” which Trump had said Mexico would pay for during his campaign.
Among other demands for negotiating the renewal of DACA, the White House expects Congress to deliver stricter immigration enforcement and a request for funds to hire 370 more immigration judges, 1,000 attorneys for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, 300 federal prosecutors and 10,000 additional ICE agents to enforce immigration laws.