Speed Reads

Immigration

Judge deals potential final blow to Trump's attempt to end DACA protections

Judge Nicholas Garaufis on Friday directed the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, which was designed during the Obama administration to protect younger undocumented immigrants from deportation. Per The New York Times, the decision may be the "final blow" to President Trump's years-long quest to eliminate the program.

The order requires the Department of Homeland Security to post a public notice by Monday that it will accept new DACA applicants for the first time since 2017, Bloomberg notes. Under Garaufis' ruling, the government must also extend benefits — including permits to work — back to two years after they had been limited to one year, find a way to contact all immigrants eligible for the program, and produce a status report by Jan. 4.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf issued a memorandum over the summer restricting DACA to people who were already enrolled, but Garaufis ruled in November that was invalid because Wolf had been unlawfully appointed to his position.

The Trump administration can still appeal the ruling in the coming days, and there are other outstanding legal challenges, but if Garaufis' order still stands by the time President-elect Joe Biden takes office, he won't need to take any action to complete his promise of restoring the program. He will, the Times notes, still likely face pressure to push for a permanent legislative solution, however. Read more at The New York Times and Bloomberg.