Federal judge invalidates Chad Wolf’s DACA suspensions

DACA prevented nearly 800,000 young adults from facing deportation

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Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis of New York City has declared that Chad Wolf, the chief of the Department of Homeland Security did not act lawfully while in his position.

According to NBC News, Garaufis invalidated Wolf’s suspension of protections in place for migrants brought to the United States illegally as children after the Trump administration’s attempts to end the Obama-era legislation known as DACA, or Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals.

Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee o on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)

Wolf suspended DACA applications on July 28 during a “comprehensive review” that the Supreme Court would rule as unconstitutional in June. The Supreme Court ruled against ending the program because of the failure to give adequate justification. According to NBC, DACA prevented nearly 800,000 young adults from facing deportation.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter at the time to call the decision “politically charged” and warned that the second amendment was also in jeopardy.

“Wolf was not lawfully serving as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security under the HSA [Homeland Security Act] when he issued the Wolf Memorandum,” said Garaufis.

Garaufis referenced Wolf and his predecessor Kevin McAllenan, who stepped down in October 2019, saying “neither Mr. McAleenan nor, in turn, Mr. Wolf, possessed statutory authority to serve as Acting Secretary. Therefore the Wolf Memorandum was not an exercise of legal authority.”

Karen Tumlin, director of the Los Angeles Justice Action Center and lawyer in this case, said that the judge’s ruling means Wolf’s efforts to “gut the DACA program is overturned.” She adds that the ruling effects more than one million people such as applicants and those who sought renewals for continued protection under the DACA program.

“This is really a hopeful day for a lot of young people across the country,” Tumlin said.

According to the Yale Law School website, there’s an ongoing case with DACA recipient Martín Jonathan Batalla Vidal against both Wolf and the Department of Homeland Security. The case initially challenged Texas’s attempts to block the program.

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