US District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on Friday ruled a full restoration of an Obama-era DACA program that would allow illegal immigrants who arrived to the United States as children to apply for work permits and a two-year period of deferred action for deportation.
The judge also instructed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to open applications for the so-called "dreamers" for the first time since 2017, reversing a memo issued by the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, that restricted the program to only those who had previously enrolled, preventing first-time applicants from participating, and limited benefits provided by the program.
According to the ruling, Wolf was unlawfully installed in his position, indicating that his memo on slicing DACA benefits was invalid.
“This is a really big day for DACA recipients and immigrant young people,” Karen Tumlin, director of the Justice Action Center, who litigated the class-action case, said, cited by The New York Times. “It opens the door for more than a million immigrant youth who have been unfairly denied their chance to apply for DACA.”
BREAKING — US Judge Nicholas Garaufis has ordered the Trump administration to fully restore DACA, instructing DHS to open the Obama-era program to new applicants for the first time since 2017.— Camilo Montoya-Galvez (@camiloreports) December 4, 2020
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DACA, created by then-US President Barack Obama in 2012, has been in the Trump administration's crosshairs since 2017. Trump labeled DACA as "unconstitutional" and unsuccessfully sought to put an end to it through the use of the Supreme Court. SCOTUS ruled in June that Trump did not follow the necessary procedures.
In July, the Trump administration vowed to continue targeting the program. Now that US mainstream media have projected Joe Biden to win the Oval Office, the Democratic challenger said he would restore DACA once he assumed office. The official US presidential election results will be announced after the Electoral College casts its vote on 14 December.