A federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday barred the Trump government from turning back the Obama-era DACA program, which shielded more than 700,000 individuals from deportation, Reuters reported.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup, an appointee of Presidennt Bill Clinton, ruled the program must remain intact while litigation is performed.
Alsup ordered that until a last decision is attained, the program must continue and those qualified for DACA protections and work permits have to be allowed to renew them until they expire.
Dreamers who have not ever received DACA protections, though, won’t be allowed to apply, Alsup ordered. Trump last year ended the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. He gave Congress until March to find a fix.
The Department of Justice said in a statement the ruling does not change the department’s position on the truth.
“DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend these benefits to this exact same set of illegal aliens. As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress, and was vulnerable to the exact same legal challenges that effectively stopped DAPA,” the statement read.
Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program was intended to keep the immigrant parents protected from deportation and provide them with a renewable work permit good for a couple of decades, but it was blocked by a federal judge following 26 states filed suit against the federal government and contested the campaign’s legality.
Trump said he was willing to be more flexible DACA in locating an agreement as Democrats warned that the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrants hung in the balance.
“I believe my positions will be exactly what the people in this area come up with,” Trump said during a Cabinet Room meeting with a bipartisan group of almost two dozen lawmakers.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Trump appeared optimistic that Congress might reach a decision on this program.
Trump stopped DACA in September. Immigration advocates estimate that more than 100 people a day lose the protected status because they did not renew their licenses before the deadline, The Journal reported.
Trump is using border security–such as a border — as a bargaining chip and Democrats wish to use their influence about the spending bill to shield immigrants under DACA.
The plaintiffs in the suit included, Amongst Others, attorneys general from California, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and the University of California
Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, filed a motion seeking the preliminary injunction in November, stating that the transfer is in breach of the U.S. Constitution and triggers “irreparable” injury to DACA recipients.
Becerra stated in a statement late Tuesday that the ruling is a “huge step in the right direction. ”
“America is and was home to Dreamers who courageously came forward, applied for DACA and did whatever the federal authorities asked of them,” he said. “They followed DACA’s rules, they triumphed in college, at work and in business, and they’ve contributed in building a better America. ”
Fox News’ Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report