In a major win for Dreamers, DACA is restored by federal judge, DHS ordered to accept new applications for the program

  • On Friday, US District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis ruled that he was restoring the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
  • The decision provides immediate relief for at least 640,000 DACA recipients and potential new applicants.
  • However, it could be appealed by the Justice Department before Trump leaves office in January.
  • Karen Tumlin, a lawyer for the immigrants represented in Brooklyn, told The Washington Post. "This is a day that DACA recipients and young people have waited for, for far too long."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

On Friday, US District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis ruled that he was restoring the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era program that creates eligibility for undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children to apply for and secure work permits, or Dreamers. 

The Trump administration attempted to end the program in September 2017, and today's decision deals a blow to his administration's hardline immigration strategy. Garaufis also ordered the Department of Homeland Security to publicly notify people on Monday that it will begin to accept new applications for DACA and make certain that the work permits issued are valid for two years.

Today's ruling also solidified the challenge to a memo acting Homeland Security Sec. Chad Wolf issued in June, which reduced DACA work permits to one year and affected about 65,000 Dreamers. Garaufis had challenged Wolf's role as acting DHS secretary and voided the memo last month.

In court, Garaufis said, "The court believes that these additional remedies are reasonable," and later confirmed the DHS would publicize the changes. "Indeed, the government has assured the court that a public notice along the lines described is forthcoming," Garaufis added. 

Although the news was well-received by advocates for immigrants' rights, many are wary of changes that could still be implemented before January 21, as states like Texas are seeking legal challenges to declare DACA unlawful. The Department of Justice could also appeal Friday's decision.

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to fully restore the DACA program within his first 100 days. 

Karen Tumlin, a lawyer for the immigrants represented in Brooklyn, told the Washington Post. "This is a day that DACA recipients and young people have waited for, for far too long," adding, "It's a reminder, as always, that what we really need is a permanent solution."

According to USCIS data, there are around current 640,000 DACA recipients; 800,000 have received DACA work permits within the last eight years, and currently, there are around 11 million undocumented people, of whom 3.6 million could be eligible for the DACA protections.

The DHS and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: Read Full Article