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Federal Judge in New York restores DACA, at least for now

DACA survives another day, but more court battles remain

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DACA at the Supreme Court
DACA at the Supreme Court
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Updated: December 4, 2020 - 9:59pm

The DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) saga continues its long and winding road through all branches of government, as a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled on Friday that these undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children can once again apply to remain in this country legally.

This goes back to the Obama administration, who said repeatedly that “I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the executive branch to make it happen,” and words to that effect.  

But finally he gave up on Congress and in June of 2012, he signed DACA into law as an executive directive and said that it was “a temporary stopgap measure.”

President Trump had planned to end it, and then offered it as part of a grand bargain to get a wall built and to end chain migration. The Democrats did not accept his offer. Finally he attempted to rescind the Obama directive and end the program, but the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against him in June of this year on the basis that he hadn’t properly used the Administrative Procedure Act, not on the merits or the constitutionality of the case.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis fully restored the Obama-era program. He ordered the Department of Homeland Security to begin accepting new applications on Monday.

The Trump administration can now take the case to a federal appeals court or go directly to the Supreme Court to seek temporary relief from enforcement of the judge’s order. 

Today there are approximately 640,000 immigrants in the DACA program.