Federal Judge Halts DACA Repeal, creating Major Setback for Trump Administration
On Tuesday, a federal judge in California issued a nationwide hold on the Trump administration's plan to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. The San Francisco Judge, William Alsup, ruled that actions of the White House to shut down the policy were improperly made, and that the program should be allowed to continue.
DACA was created by former President Barack Obama in 2012, in an attempt to form a legal method for young immigrants to stay in the country. The program allowed children who were brought to the United States before the age of 16 to receive an education, acquire work visas, and eventually, become U.S. citizens.
In September 2016, President Trump ordered an end to DACA, putting the future of the approximately 800,000 recipients of the program in jeopardy. Attorney General Jeff Sessions described how the policy was being shut down due to the way the program, “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.”
Backlash to the Trump administration's decision was swift, with protests erupting outside state houses across the country, and numerous organizations filing legal challenges against the announcement.
Tuesday’s ruling in California came out of one such lawsuit by the University of California and other prominent schools. The decision made by Judge Alsup was an important victory for the plaintiffs, but likely only a temporary stay on the shutdown of the program. It appears that the the White House may appeal the ruling and attempt to bring the issue all the way to the Supreme Court.
For those that support DACA, especially the recipients of the programs themselves, commonly known as DREAMers, the decision in the California Courts came as a relief. Hellossa Silva, a Massachusetts teenager who receives support from DACA was, “super excited” when she found out about the success of the lawsuit.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra also had good things to say about the decision. “Tonight’s ruling is a huge step in the right direction. America is and has been home to Dreamers who courageously came forward, applied for DACA and did everything the federal government asked of them.”
Opponents of DACA vehemently expressed their displeasure with the recent ruling. The United States Department of Justice released a statement saying that Trump’s decision to suspend the program was within, “lawful authority” and that the department, “looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation.”
President Trump himself took to Twitter to decry the announcement by the California judge, calling it “broken and unfair.” He vowed that the decision would be overturned in the higher courts.
The future of DACA now lays in the hands of Congress, with representatives from both parties looking to find a way to save the program. Despite having bipartisan support, the road ahead is not easy. The Trump Administration has asserted that it will agree to no deal on DACA unless it comes with funding for the border wall.
For the hundreds of thousands of young people who are part of the DACA program, the uncertainty of their fate is frustrating and terrifying. Ramiro Luna, 37, described the feelings of many: “Every single day, I feel like I have one day left to consider myself safe here."