Judge rejects limits on DACA programme

President Donald Trump.   | Photo Credit: AP

A judge on Saturday rejected the White House’s limitations on a programme protecting 7,00,000 so-called “Dreamers,” undocumented migrants brought to the U.S. as children.

The federal judge in New York ruled that President Donald Trump’s acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was not lawfully serving in his role when he issued the new rules for the DACA programme in July.

The ruling is another victory for proponents of the Barack Obama-era programme after the U.S. Supreme Court in June rejected Mr. Trump’s cancellation of it.

President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Mr. Trump in the November 3 polls, had pledged to reinstate the programme when he takes office on January 20.

Authority questioned

Mr. Wolf, who has not been confirmed in his role by the U.S. Senate, issued new restrictions on the programme in response to the Supreme Court ruling.

Saturday’s court decision said his restrictions “effectively suspended” DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, while the Trump administration reviewed how to proceed.

Mr. Wolf’s rules said new applications would not be accepted and renewals would be limited to one year instead of two.

They are now invalid because “the court holds that Mr. Wolf was not lawfully serving as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security under the Homeland Security Act” when he issued them, the ruling said.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis said the correct order of succession had not been followed for the acting secretary appointment.

It was not the first time Mr. Wolf has seen the legality of his appointment as acting secretary in 2019 drawn into question.

Mr. Trump entered office promising to halt almost all immigration and to expel the more than 10 million people estimated living in the country, many for decades, without legal immigration documents.

The Obama administration sought to address the issue in 2012, with the DACA policy offering protection at renewable two-year periods, including authorisation to work, to people brought into the United States illegally as children and then growing up here.

DACA, and the subsequent DAPA programme — Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents — were executive actions by Mr. Obama to eliminate the constant threat of deportation for more than four million undocumented migrants.

Mr. Trump cancelled DAPA after coming to office and then went after the more established DACA, but faced court battles over it.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 6:05:15 PM |

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