A federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the deferred action program for young undocumented immigrants that protects them from deportation.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted a request that the administration be blocked from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program while lawsuits proceed in court, The Associated Press reported.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would end the program started by the Obama administration in 2012.
Alsup’s ruling considered five lawsuits filed in Northern California, which included one from California and three other states, as well as one from the University of California system.
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“DACA covers a class of immigrants whose presence, seemingly all agree, pose the least, if any, threat and allows them to sign up for honest labor on the condition of continued good behavior,” Alsup wrote.
Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said it did not change the fact the program was implemented unlawfully after Congress declined to offer protection for undocumented immigrants who arrived when they were children.
“The Department of Homeland Security therefore acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner,” he said in a statement. “Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens.”
But California Attorney General Xavier Becerra praised the decision.
“Dreamers lives were thrown into chaos when the Trump administration tried to terminate the DACA program without obeying the law,” he said. “Tonight’s ruling is a huge step in the right direction.”