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2nd Federal Court Blocks Trump From Rescinding DACA

Ting Shen  ZUMA

The order from federal District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in NY comes as Congress debates legislation that would allow up to 1.8 million undocumented immigrants brought to the children, known as "Dreamers", to gain legal status rather than face possible deportation.

For a second time, a judge has blocked President Donald Trump's administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects immigrants in the United States brought illegally as children from deportation.

Judge Garaufis is the second federal judge to rule Mr. Trump's aides bungled the phaseout, following a case in a federal court in California.

The judge says Trump's administration relied on an "erroneous" belief the programme was unconstitutional.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by AG Healey and a coalition of 16 other attorneys general in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of NY in September 2017 to defend the DACA program. "Based on its review of the record before it, the court concludes that defendants have not done so".

There are approximately 700,000 DACA beneficiaries, though the administration is not required to process new applications.

CNN reports that the Supreme Court is planning to meet behind closed doors this week to decide whether they will take up the Trump administration's appeal of the injunctions.

Mr. Trump had set a March 5 phaseout data for the DACA program. He's also been making DACA related headlines prior to this, chastising people who support the end of the program and being quoted as saying, "You can't come into court to espouse a position that is heartless". Current DACA grantees can now request renewal while litigation to defend the program continues.

In a statement, U.S. Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley said DACA was implemented unilaterally by Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama and thus unlawfully circumvented Congress. The DREAM Act - Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors - was legislation that offered numerous same protections as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals administrative program but never passed Congress.

The agency had already begun to accept renewal applications under the first court order.