Nevada DREAMers celebrated a federal judge’s decision Friday afternoon that requires the federal government to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to function as it did prior to September 2017, when President Donald Trump terminated it.
U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to begin accepting and processing new applications from eligible immigrants not previously enrolled in the program, which has been closed to new applicants for the last three years. The ruling is effective immediately.
Garaufis declared the restriction to bar DACA protections from new applicants, among other restrictions to the program ordered by DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf over the summer, unlawful because of the nature of Wolf’s interim position in the federal agency.
“Accordingly, because Mr. Wolf was without lawful authority to serve as Acting Secretary of DHS, the Wolf Memorandum is VACATED. In light of the vacatur, all parties agree that the DACA program is currently governed by its terms as they existed prior to the attempted rescission of September 2017,” Garaufis wrote in the ruling.
Garaufis’ ruling requires the DHS to restore advanced parole opportunities and the previous two-year limit for work permits afforded to DACA recipients, which Wolf had restricted.
The DHS must post public notice of the changes to restore the program as it was “prominently” on the agency’s website by Monday and must provide individual notice to current DACA recipients by mail by Dec. 31.
Garaufis also ordered a status report from the agency by Jan. 4, which must include the number of first-time DACA applications, renewal requests and advanced parole requests processed from Nov. 14 through Dec. 31, among other requirements.
“The court believes that these additional remedies are reasonable. Indeed, the Government has assured the court that a public notice along the lines described is forthcoming,” the ruling says.
DACA protects nearly 700,000 people in the U.S., including more than 12,000 recipients in Nevada. CBS News reported there are an estimated one million currently undocumented immigrant teens and young adults who qualify for the program.
Continue reading the article at The Nevada Independent. This story was originally published on December 4 and authored by Jazmin Orozco Rodriguez.