President Trump’s efforts to shut down the Dreamers program have hit another snag. A federal judge has blocked the president’s attempt to tear down DACA, a program was first established during Obama administration. The program was created to provide quasi-legal status and work permits for foreign nationals who came to the US illegally as children. District Court judge William Alsup ruled that the administration should continue to accept renewal applications for the program.
The judge also noted that the assertion by Jeff Sessions that DACA was illegal was based on a “flawed legal premise.” The ruling now opens a new window for former DACA recipients to send their application for renewals. However, the court didn’t mandate the administration to approve applications for renewals.
President Trump was not thrilled by the ruling. In a tweet sent Tuesday morning, he said that the ruling was a clear indication of just how broken and unfair the US court system has become.
DACA advocates have been pushing for new legislation to help offer some level of reprieve for former recipients. The president has made it clear that he is ready to compromise on his stance on the program if Congress could guarantee funding for the infamous border wall.
Trump wrote in a tweet that he was concerned about the security situation in the southern border. The president maintained that building a wall was the best way to address this issue and any DACA approval must have provisions for the wall.
While making his ruling, Judge Alsup said that the administration’s attempt to abolish DACA was not entirely based on a rational legal standpoint. It is rather a ploy by the White House to strengthen its bargaining position for the new border wall.
It’s not yet clear how the Trump administration will respond to this latest setback. However, it’s very likely that a petition will be filed with the Circuit Court of Appeal requesting stay orders for the ruling. The Supreme Court might also issue orders suspending the ruling if the Court of Appeal fails to act. It wouldn’t be the first time that the highest court will be intervening in a ruling made by a lower court. Just recently the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to halt orders by judge Alsup requiring the White House to disclose additional details on the legal basis of rescinding the DACA program.
The White House has not yet commented on this latest development. DACA advocates are still hoping for a more robust legislative solution while Trump administration has shown some willingness to compromise. There is a feeling that the new ruling could undercut whatever efforts are already in place to find a legislative fix to the problem.
For many DACA recipients, the uncertainty that they have had to deal with will still remain. Although the ruling will offer some temporary reprieve, until a legislative solution is achieved, here is no telling what will happen next. It’s also not clear if Congress is ready to commit funding for the wall, so a permanent legal solution for DACA could be further away than we think.