Damian Duffarganis / AP
A federal judge annulled another round of rules passed by the Trump administration that placed additional restrictions on the Obama-era program that protected illegal immigrants who came into the country as children from deportation.
Under the order filed on Friday, Judge Nicholas Jarovis of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn instructed the Department of Homeland Security to begin accepting new applications for the Deferred Action Program for Child arrivals as soon as Monday.
In his ruling, Garoffs said that the terms of the federal program should be immediately restored to what they were “before the attempted cancellation in September 2017” when the White House began a series of maneuvers to dismantle the program.
The judge also instructed officials to reinstate two-year permits for eligible applicants. Over the summer, the administration began issuing one-year permits.
DACA currently protects around 640,000 young, unregistered immigrants. As of July, an estimated 300,000 young people are eligible for the program and still await an opportunity to apply. This includes 55,000 people who have reached eligibility age over the past three years.
“The ruling is a major victory for people who have been waiting to apply for DACA for the first time,” Veronica Garcia, employee attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, said in a statement.
She added that Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf’s decision “was just another attempt by the Trump administration to exercise its racist and anti-immigrant views and policies.”
Garoffs’ decision is the latest court ruling against the administration.
In June, the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s 2017 attempt to end DACA, saying the administration’s logic was “arbitrary and volatile.” In July, a Maryland federal court also ordered the administration to begin accepting new applicants.
But 11 days later, Wolff issued a memo cutting renewal permits from two years to one year, and blocking all new applications.
This led to a ruling in November by Jarovis saying that Wolf was not legally acting as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security when he issued the changes “because the Department of Homeland Security had failed to follow its succession order, as legally established under the Homeland Security Act.”
As a result, Garaufis nullified the changes initiated by Wolf.
Wolf has served as Acting Secretary since November 2019; It has not been confirmed by the Senate. Christgen Nielsen, who resigned in April 2019, was the last Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to be confirmed by the Senate.
Court documents said the Department of Homeland Security has until Monday to post a public notice “prominently displayed on its website and on the websites of all other relevant agencies that it is accepting first-time applications to consider the deferred action under DACA.”
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