NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Donald Trump’s administration didn’t offer “legally adequate reasons” for ending a program that spared many young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. as children, a judge ruled Tuesday as he ordered the program to continue.
U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in Brooklyn said in a written order that the Republican president “indisputably” has the power to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program but relied on flawed legal positions in doing so.
“The Trump administration should be able to alter the policies and priorities set by its predecessor,” Garaufis said.
He said his order does not require the government to grant any particular DACA applications or renewal requests.
The ruling came in lawsuits brought by immigration rights groups and 15 states and the District of Columbia.
Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley said the order doesn’t change the government’s position that DACA was an “unlawful circumvention of Congress.”
“DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend these benefits to this same group of illegal aliens,” he said.
O’Malley added that the Department of Homeland Security “acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner” and looked forward to vindicating its position in future litigation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said then-President Barack Obama’s decision to implement DACA was an unconstitutional exercise of authority. Known as “dreamers,” participants in the program were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas.
“Today’s ruling gives hope to me and dreamers around the country,” said Eliana Fernandez, a plaintiff in the case. “We are thrilled with this preliminary injunction.”
Following the injunction, a group of state attorneys general led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed separate but linked lawsuits in Brooklyn claiming that the repeal of DACA was an arbitrary and capricious decision largely motivated by a racial animus against Latinos, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“It’s now safe to send in renewal applications for your DACA benefits, it’s going to be possible to earn new work permits, this is a big victory for all those of us who support the dreamers,” Schneiderman said.
Immigrant rights advocates said the ruling sends a clear message to…