Will Trump be forced to keep DACA alive? 

Judge William Alsup stated that the administration must continue receiving renewal applications

Will Trump be forced to keep DACA alive? 

Leer en Español: ¿Debe Trump matener DACA? 

On January 9th, a federal judge temporarily blocked Trump administration’s plan, which sought to end the program that protects those who migrated illegally to the United States from possible deportation.

With his decision, US District Judge William Alsup, in San Francisco, California, granted a request by the State of California and other states to stop the administration’s wish to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program at least until litigations can adequately play out in court.

Under DACA, which was created by President Obama, about 800,000 young people who migrated to the US illegally as children have been allowed to live and work legally. Last September, with Trump under pressure from officials in several states opposed to DACA, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the current administration would begin shutting down the program on March 5th, 2018. The decision was based on Sessions’ opinion that Obama had surpassed his legal authority when said government immigration tool was implemented.

The legal opinion was incorrect, the federal judge stated calling it “a flawed legal premise”. In Alsup’s ruling, he cited decades of previous actions by immigration authorities to provide temporary assistance to groups of people who have violated immigration law.

Alsup ordered that, until a final jurisdiction is reached, the program must continue and those already approved for DACA protection and work permits must be allowed to renew them before they expire.

While the ruling is "a sigh of relief, it's a transitory one”, stated Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, which advocates for the rights of immigrants.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders called Alsup’s ruling “outrageous” and insisted that Congress must ultimately decide the future of the DACA program. “An issue of this magnitude must go through the normal legislative process”, Sanders said in a brief press conference. “President Trump is committed to the rule of law and will work with members of both parties to reach a permanent solution that corrects the unconstitutional actions taken by the last administration”, she added.

Read also: Trump, DACA, and the Wall

In response to the ruling, the Department of Justice (DOJ) questioned the legality of DACA calling it "an unlawful circumvention of Congress”. DOJ spokesman Devin O'Malley declared in a written statement that the Department of Homeland Security "acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner" and implied that the legal battles aren't over yet.

Trump, himself, criticized the judge’s decision on Twitter. "It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts", the Head of State tweeted.  

New York, Washington, Massachusetts, and various states are seeking a similar preliminary injunction in the federal court  of Brooklyn, part of a separate lawsuit on behalf of DACA recipients.


Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto


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