The Trump administration's plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was temporarily blocked by a second federal judge on Tuesday.
In September, President Trump announced that his administration would be ending DACA. The program was originally put in place by the Obama Administration in 2012 to temporarily protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, allowing the "Dreamers" to stay in the country for renewable two-year periods. Trump gave lawmakers a March 5 deadline to pass legislation that would end the program, but he was met with resistance from Democrats and judges alike.
Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued an injunction barring the Trump administration's plans to end the program on Tuesday. He noted that the plan was based in part on the "plainly incorrect factual premise" that the program was illegal.
"[The Trump administration] indisputably can end the DACA program," Garaufis wrote. "The question before the court is thus not whether defendants could end the DACA program, but whether they offered legally adequate reasons for doing so. Based on its review of the record before it, the court concludes that defendants have not done so."
Garaufis' ruling follows a similar injunction from San Francisco federal judge William Alsup in January. Alsup explained that the Department of Homeland Security's "decision to rescind DACA was based on a flawed legal premise."
These two injunctions, plus heavy resistance from Democrats, could keep the program running past Trump's March 5 deadline. Garaufis' decision was met with praise from Karen Tumlin of the National Immigration Law Center, who said, "Today's ruling shows that courts across the country agree that Trump's termination of DACA was not just immoral, but unlawful as well."
Despite the pushback, however, the Justice Department says that it will "vigorously defend this position" and argues that the Trump administration acted "within its lawful authority" when it chose to end DACA. In a statement in January, the Justice Department said, "DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend these benefits to this same group of illegal aliens. As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress. Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens."
CNN reports that the Supreme Court is planning to meet behind closed doors this week to decide whether they will take up the Trump administration's appeal of the injunctions.