US District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis stated in a court order Tuesday in New York that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) could not be cancelled "pending a decision on the merits of these cases."
"Defendants thus must continue processing both initial DACA applications and DACA renewal requests under the same terms and conditions that applied before September 5, 2017," the judge noted. On September 5, Trump signed an executive order "responsibly ending unlawful immigration policy," rescinding the program started by former President Barack Obama to allow undocumented immigrants brought to the US as minors to be allowed to legally live and work in the country on a rolling basis, to be renewed every two years.
The lawsuit was filed by attorney generals from 17 states against Trump and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
"Our coalition of 17 AGs just won a preliminary injunction blocking @POTUS's discriminator attempt to end DACA and deport DREAMers," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a tweet Tuesday.
A California judge issued a similar nationwide order requiring the Trump administration to continue the DACA program last month.
Following the California court's decision, US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on January 18 it had "resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA."
Trump has sought for Congress to pass new laws to reform the immigration system. He has also insisted that Congress include funding for a wall to be built on the US-Mexico border in any reform package, which lawmakers have been reluctant to do. There have been no indications Mexico will pay for the wall, despite Trump's campaign promises.