2nd Judge Issues Ruling Blocking End of DACA Program, Immigration Debate Continues

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Judge Nicholas Garaufis, a former President Bill Clinton appointee on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of NY, concluded the government violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when it ended the program.

"This can create confusion", said Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, who along with 17 state attorneys brought suit against the government.

"Garaufis found legal errors in Trump's decision, for example, that DACA was illegal and unconstitutional". "Any of these flaws would support invalidating the DACA rescission as arbitrary and capricious", Garaufis said.

The Supreme Court is expected to consider this week whether to take up the administration's appeal of the separate ruling by Judge William Alsup in California, according to news reports. The issue was brought to the judge when several DACA recipients, known as "Dreamers", and 17 attorneys general led by New York AG Eric Schneiderman sued the federal government for the September 5, 2017 decision to end the program.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in NY ruled Tuesday that the government hasn't offered legally adequate reasons for ending the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - or DACA.

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The Justice Department said it maintains that the administration acted "within its lawful authority" in deciding to end DACA and will "vigorously defend this position". But on January 9, US District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ordered the administration to partially revive the program and resume accepting renewal applications, finding that the challengers who sued over the rescission were likely to succeed in arguing that it was "arbitrary and capricious". DAPA would have provided similar protections from deportation to the undocumented parents of USA citizens and legal permanent residents.

There are approximately 700,000 DACA beneficiaries, though the administration is not required to process new applications. "As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress", the Justice Department said in a statement.

"DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend these benefits to this same group of illegal aliens". They said it was more humane to do a six-month phaseout than to have a court end the program abruptly. As Mother Jones has written, the Trump administration has taken the rare step of appealing Alsup's decision straight to the Supreme Court.

The agency had already begun to accept renewal applications under the first court order.