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Judge orders administration to accept new DACA applicants

Views from the Edge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration must begin accepting new application for the Obama-instituted DACA program.

Judge Paul Grimm of the US District Court for the District of Maryland said Friday that the program is to be restored to its “pre-September 5, 2017 status,” giving the opportunity for thousands of immigrants to apply to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children from deportation.

“We are extremely pleased and excited by Judge Grimm’s order, but it’s really just effectuating the decision the Supreme Court made a month ago,” said Nick Katz, senior manager of legal services at CASA, which brought the lawsuit along with other immigrant rights group. “I hope this order makes it clear to (the Department of Homeland Security) that they can’t delay any longer. They need to reopen the program.”

NPR reported earlier this week, that the Trump administration has not been accepting new applicants even after the Supreme Court ruled last month that the administration didn’t go about ending the program correctly. The administration has only been processing DACA renewals.

“This means that the administration not only must continue protections for current recipients, but that that it must also accept new applications,” said Ali Noorani, president and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “Ignoring this decision puts the administration directly at odds with the rule of law, and leaves DREAMers steeped in even more uncertainty about their futures.”
There are approximately 800,000 in the DACA program, including 16,000 Asian Americans. out of a pool of 1.2 million eligible young immigrants.
Trump has gone back and forth in his support or nonsupport for the program, leaving critics’ heads spinning. After the last month’s decision, Trump vowed to reintroduce a measure to end DACA that would pass the court’s muster.
However, on July 10, the president promised a “road to citizenship” for DACA recipients during an interview with Telemundo before the White House walked that back. Then, on Tuesday, Trump said he would be “taking care” of DACA recipients, which could be interpreted both ways.

“We’re going to work on DACA because we want to make people happy,” Trump said during a rambling press conference in the White House Rose Garden where President Barack Obama first announced the program eight years earlier.

“During his time in the White House, President Trump has been unrelenting in his attacks on immigrant communities in the United States — from jailing and deporting thousands, to severely restricting lawful immigration, to militarizing the border. At the insistence of courageous immigrant communities and their allies who sued the Trump administration, courts have stepped in to stop those illegal and horrifying attacks from time to time,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. 

“This is an incredible victory fought for and won by the very people Trump continues to want to exclude from our country,” 

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