Federal Judge Orders Temporary Restoration of DACA

Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California last night issued an order blocking the cancellation of DACA - the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program - repealed by President Donald Trump's administration last year.

In a failure outlined in a 49-page documentThe federal judge determined that the decision to eliminate DACA was incorrect and that the government must maintain the program nationwide while the legal challenges filed seeking the restoration of the relief that would protect from deportation approximately 700,000 undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday are resolved.

The Judge AlsupPresident William J. Clinton's 1999 nominee, ruled that the government must continue to accept DACA renewal applications. But his decision only applies to renewals, not to processing applications for those who never applied for DACA before. Nor does it allow for the reissuance of advance parole for current DACA recipients.

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the elimination of DACA on September 5 of last year, he authorized the processing of Employment Authorization Document renewal applications through October 5, 2017 for recipients whose work permits expired between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018, effectively granting an extension for those individuals.

Judge Alsup issued his ruling of interim relief on five separate lawsuits filed in Northern California, including one by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, others by the attorneys general of Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, plus one filed by the University of California and its president, Janet Napolitano, seeking to block the elimination of DACA. Napolitano was Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security during Barack Obama's presidency when the creation and implementation of DACA was announced in 2012.

It is not yet clear when DACA recipients will be able to resubmit renewal applications for their work permits based on the judge's ruling in California, which he says should apply nationwide.

The White House spokeswoman categorized the ruling as "outrageous," indicating that only Congress can authorize changes to the country's legislation, including the future of DACA.

President Trump's administration has vowed to appeal Judge Alsup's decision.