Federal Judge Rules DACA Must Stay in Place, Cites President Trump’s Tweets

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A judge in California has placed a nationwide injunction on the ending of the DACA program, mandating that it stay in place for now.  The judge, William Alsup of Federal District Court in San Francisco, wrote that the Trump administration must “maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis” as lawsuits challenging the ending of the program work their way through the courts.

President Trump ended the program in September but gave Congress six months to come up with a permanent solution for its beneficiaries.  There appears to be widespread support for the program on both sides on of the aisle in Congress and both parties seem to be working towards a solution.  Members of both parties met with the president at the White House yesterday to begin negotiations.

Several states and organizations had brought legal action against the administration over the decision.  They claim eliminating the program was arbitrary and executed without regard to proper legal procedures.  The program was started by executive order by President Obama in 2012.  There have been legal questions raised about whether he had authority to institute a program like DACA without the consent of Congress.  One of the lead plaintiffs in the case is Janet Napolitano.  Napolitano if the former secretary of homeland security under President Obama and was one of the architects of the program.

In his ruling, Judge Alsup challenged the position that the previous administration did not have the authority to institute a program like DACA.  He said that the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has always had the authority to exercise discretion when it comes to deportations.

Alsup also cited several of President Trump’s tweets as evidence that keeping DACA in place was in the public’s interests.

Donald J. Trump on Twitter

Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..

Under Alsup’s ruling previous beneficiaries are allowed to renew their status in the program, but the government does not have to accept new applications.  It was also ruled that the DACA recipients could be prevented from returning the US if they leave the country.

The administration could appeal the ruling, but it is clear now that the resolution of this debate has become a little more uncertain.  The Justice Department, for its part, maintains its previous position on the program.  “The Department of Homeland Security…acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner. Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens,” a spokesman said.

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