WASHINGTON — In the midst of a passionate political struggle about DACA, the program that protects from deportation young immigrants who, as children, were brought illegally to the United States, a federal judge in California, U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco issued a nationwide injunction this Tuesday directing the Trump administration to recommence the DACA program.
Not something that the President desires. President Trump has made attacking illegal immigration a top priority in his agenda.
A fundamental part of Trump’s modus operandi is his decision to terminate the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which the president and his followers call an obvious instance of executive overreach.
Trump’s determination to eliminate DACA was toppled late Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said that the nearly 690,000 DACA recipients must retain their work permits and protection from deportation while a lawsuit challenging the move to terminate the program goes forward.
Judge Alsup held that the government must resume renewal of DACA and work authorizations for all immigrants who had been granted DACA status the status prior to Sept. 5, however, he also opined that the federal government could deny them the right to return to the United States if they travel abroad, even with the governments permission. Additionally, the judge said the government did not have to accept new applicants.
Judge Alsup said that the plaintiffs had established that they were likely to succeed on their claims that the Trump administration’s cancellation of the nearly six-year-old program was “capricious,” and that the states, employers and tech companies including the immigrants themselves, had much to lose if the administration was wrong.
The Department of Homeland Security has been silent on whether it would begin renewing work permits, notwithstanding Alsup’s order to do so. To date, no guidance regarding renewal of DACA has been issued on its website.
As expected Democrats and Republicans met again Wednesday to try and sort out the details of an agreement that would decide the fate of young people protected by DACA.
Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) at the meeting in his office attempted to follow up on the reunion with Trump. This group has been in deliberations for many months in anticipation of coming up with an agreement that could garner the 60 votes required to overcome procedural hurdles in the narrowly divided Senate.
The fate of dreamers is “hanging out there with great uncertainty,” Durbin told reporters. “Whether it’s by the president’s announcement or a court decision, it’s time for us to meet the president’s challenge and to create a law that solves this problem.”
Immigration lawyers also differed on whether dreamers should renew their status now. Some suggested that immigrants file an application to get their foot in the door while the judge’s ruling is pending. But others said they risked losing the hefty application fee and worried that some immigrants would fall prey to fraud.