US judge rules DACA must continue for now

WASHINGTON, Jan.10,, CMC – Amidst intense political battle about a United States federal program that shields from deportation young Caribbean and other immigrants who were brought illegally to the US as children, a federal judge in California has issued a nationwide injunction ordering the Trump administration to restart the programme.

Stating that the decision to kill it was improper, Judge William Alsup of Federal District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday  said the Trump administration must “maintain the DACA programme on a nationwide basis,” as the legal challenge to the US president’s decision proceed.

President Barack Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme (DACA) in 2012,  to also give young immigrants the ability to work legally in the United States. However, Trump moved to end the programme in September,  saying that Obama’s actions were unconstitutional and an overreach of executive power.

That decision has set off a fierce debate in Washington as Democrats and Republicans spar about how to provide relief for about 800,000 immigrants who could face deportation when the programme ends on March 5.

Trump met with lawmakers on Tuesday afternoon in a hourlong televised meeting to begin negotiations.

But critics of the president’s decision to end the policy, including several states and organizations, had already sued the administration, saying that shutting down the programme was arbitrary and done without following the proper legal procedures.

One of the lead plaintiffs in the case, Janet Napolitano, is currently the president of the sprawling University of California system of colleges but served as the secretary of homeland security for Obama in 2012 and was an architect of the DACA programme.

In his ruling, Judge Alsup questioned the administration’s contention that the DACA programme had not been put into place legally. He asserted that the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has long had the authority to grant the kind of temporary protections that formed the basis of the programme.

Judge Alsup also cited several of Trump’s Twitter posts that expressed support for the programme.

He noted that, in September, the president said :  “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!”

Such tweets, Alsup said, bolstered the idea that keeping DACA going was in the public’s interest.

The judge wrote that previous beneficiaries of DACA, known as Dreamers, must be allowed to renew their status although the government will not be required to accept new applications from immigrants who had not previously submitted one.

In addition, Alsup said the Trump administration could continue to prevent DACA recipients from returning to the US if they leave the country.

Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the US Department of Justice, said that the ruling did not change the department’s position.

“DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend these benefits to this same group of illegal aliens,” he said. “As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress, and was susceptible to the same legal challenges that effectively ended DACA.

The Department of Homeland Security, therefore, acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner,” he added. “Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens.”

The Trump administration could quickly appeal the judge’s ruling, hoping that an appeals court would prevent the injunction from taking effect and allowing the shutdown of the DACA program as the president announced in September.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump appeared open to negotiating a sweeping immigration deal that would eventually grant millions of undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship, declaring that he was willing to “take the heat” politically for an approach that seemed to flatly contradict the anti-immigration stance that charged his political rise.

The president made the remarks during an extended meeting with congressional Republicans and Democrats who are weighing a shorter-term agreement that would extend legal status for undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants brought to the United States as children.

In the 90-minute session — more than half of which played out on national television —Trump agreed to a framework for a short-term immigration deal to couple protection for young, undocumented immigrants with border security.

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The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017

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WASHINGTON, Jan.10,, CMC – Amidst intense political battle about a United States federal program that shields from deportation young Caribbean and other immigrants who were brought illegally to the US as children, a federal judge in California has issued a nationwide injunction ordering the Trump administration to restart the programme.

Stating that the decision to kill it was improper, Judge William Alsup of Federal District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday  said the Trump administration must “maintain the DACA programme on a nationwide basis,” as the legal challenge to the US president’s decision proceed.

President Barack Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme (DACA) in 2012,  to also give young immigrants the ability to work legally in the United States. However, Trump moved to end the programme in September,  saying that Obama’s actions were unconstitutional and an overreach of executive power.

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That decision has set off a fierce debate in Washington as Democrats and Republicans spar about how to provide relief for about 800,000 immigrants who could face deportation when the programme ends on March 5.

Trump met with lawmakers on Tuesday afternoon in a hourlong televised meeting to begin negotiations.

But critics of the president’s decision to end the policy, including several states and organizations, had already sued the administration, saying that shutting down the programme was arbitrary and done without following the proper legal procedures.

One of the lead plaintiffs in the case, Janet Napolitano, is currently the president of the sprawling University of California system of colleges but served as the secretary of homeland security for Obama in 2012 and was an architect of the DACA programme.

In his ruling, Judge Alsup questioned the administration’s contention that the DACA programme had not been put into place legally. He asserted that the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has long had the authority to grant the kind of temporary protections that formed the basis of the programme.

Judge Alsup also cited several of Trump’s Twitter posts that expressed support for the programme.

He noted that, in September, the president said :  “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!”

Such tweets, Alsup said, bolstered the idea that keeping DACA going was in the public’s interest.

The judge wrote that previous beneficiaries of DACA, known as Dreamers, must be allowed to renew their status although the government will not be required to accept new applications from immigrants who had not previously submitted one.

In addition, Alsup said the Trump administration could continue to prevent DACA recipients from returning to the US if they leave the country.

Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the US Department of Justice, said that the ruling did not change the department’s position.

“DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend these benefits to this same group of illegal aliens,” he said. “As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress, and was susceptible to the same legal challenges that effectively ended DACA.

The Department of Homeland Security, therefore, acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner,” he added. “Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens.”

The Trump administration could quickly appeal the judge’s ruling, hoping that an appeals court would prevent the injunction from taking effect and allowing the shutdown of the DACA program as the president announced in September.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump appeared open to negotiating a sweeping immigration deal that would eventually grant millions of undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship, declaring that he was willing to “take the heat” politically for an approach that seemed to flatly contradict the anti-immigration stance that charged his political rise.

The president made the remarks during an extended meeting with congressional Republicans and Democrats who are weighing a shorter-term agreement that would extend legal status for undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants brought to the United States as children.

In the 90-minute session — more than half of which played out on national television —Trump agreed to a framework for a short-term immigration deal to couple protection for young, undocumented immigrants with border security.