On Tuesday, a federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction ordering the continuance of DACA protections.
According to the New York Times, Judge William Alsup of the Federal District Court in San Francisco said that the federal government must “maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis” while President Donald Trump‘s decision to end the program is still being challenged legally.
The program wasn’t created illegally, judge says
In September, Trump moved to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. He claimed that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had created the program illegally and that it was an overreach of executive power.
However, Judge Alsup asserted that the Department of Homeland Security has the authority to grant temporary protections like those provided under DACA and has had that power for some time.
The judge also pointed out that Trump himself had argued for programs like DACA on Twitter.
In September, the president wrote: “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!”
Alsup wrote that posts like that only proved that the program served the interests of the country.
—True Story | Black & Undocumented: Tobore’s DACA Story
But the Justice Department isn’t budging
The Justice Department responded to the ruling by saying that it didn’t change their position at all.
Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said in response, “DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend these benefits to this same group of illegal aliens. As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress, and was susceptible to the same legal challenges that effectively ended DACA. The Department of Homeland Security therefore acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner. Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens.”
If the administration appeals the injunction, it could go all the way to the Supreme Court, putting the fates of the Dreamers in the hands of the highest court in the land.