A federal judge in Brooklyn ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration cannot end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program March 5, the deadline President Donald Trump issued to sunset the program unless Congress passed a bill codifying it into law.
District Judge Nicholas Garaufis is the second judge to block the Trump administration from ending the program, which allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to work or attend college in the country so long as they meet certain requirements.
A federal judge in San Francisco issued a similar ruling in January, which the Trump administration has already appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is set to consider Friday whether to hear that appeal.
Garaufis’ decision came down as the Senate begins debate on immigration reform.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has sided with a Republican-crafted plan that would provide a pathway to citizenship for roughly 1.8 million undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors, known colloquially as “Dreamers.” However, that plan would also dramatically cut legal immigration, making its passage in the Senate unlikely.
McConnell also said Tuesday he was giving the Senate just one week to come up with a solution for DACA — a very short deadline that increases the odds Congress will fail to pass a DACA fix.
That makes the court decision more consequential for the roughly 800,000 undocumented immigrants currently in the DACA program.
Garaufis ruled that Trump’s reason for ending DACA was arbitrary and thus couldn’t stand, Reuters reported.