The ruling allows newly eligible immigrants to apply for the program.

Por Alma Sacasa
Diciembre 07, 2020

Last week, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was created by President Barack Obama in 2012. Known as DACA, the program was created to shield young, undocumented immigrants from deportation; it has protected more than 800,000 individuals since its inception. The Trump administration has tried repeatedly to end the program.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn also directed the administration to allow newly eligible immigrants to file new applications with the program, reversing a memorandum issued in the summer by Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, which restricted the program to people who were already enrolled.

Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

In November, Judge Garaufis ruled that Wolf's decision to suspend the program was invalid since he was only appointed as an "acting" secretary for the Department of Homeland Security when he signed rules limiting applications and renewals. Wolf issued a memo in July saying that new applications for DACA would not be accepted and renewals would be limited to one year instead of two; it also limited benefits like work permits to one year. Garaufis, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, ruled that benefits must be restored to two years, and said the government must find a way to contact all immigrants who are eligible for the program to inform them of the change.

The Trump administration also tried ending DACA in 2017, but the Supreme Court blocked that attempt in June, saying that the administration failed to justify why ending the program was necessary.