A federal judge ruled that acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was illegally appointed and lack the authority to issue a memo limiting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, The Washington Post reports.
District Judge Nicholas Garaufis said that Wolf’s appointment did not follow legal procedures and that he was among several top DHS official illegally installed last year.
As a result, the judge said, Wolf’s memo limiting DACA permits from two years to one year “was not an exercise of legal authority.”
It’s unclear whether the ruling would restore DACA to its original version.
The judge has asked both sides to schedule a conference on the issue.
More lawsuits pending:
Other lawsuits surrounding DACA, including one lawsuit in Texas that questions the legality of the program, are scheduled to kick off in December.
DHS said the Sunday ruling was “another example of an activist judge substituting his own policy preference for those of the Trump Administration” and accused him of having an “unwillingness to seriously engage on the facts or the law.”
“DHS is exploring its options to ensure its review of DACA continues as intended,” a spokesperson told the Post.
“The Supreme Court already ruled that President Trump’s attempts to unfairly punish dreamers was unlawful, but now another federal court has ruled that this administration’s attempts to circumvent the courts in an effort to target and punish innocent young people is just as unlawful,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said after the ruling.
Biden vows to restore DACA:
President-elect Joe Biden has called Trump’s immigration policies an “unrelenting assault” on American values and said he will “undo the damage,” according to the Associated Press.
Biden said he will immediately reinstate DACA and end restrictions on asylum seekers.
Biden also vowed to end Trump’s rule barring visas and residency to immigrants who use public benefits and halt all funding for Trump’s border wall.