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Trump's latest move would gut DACA program, Dreamers say

Patricia Hurtado, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration's move to curtail a program sparing young immigrants from deportation is an effort to "dismantle" an initiative the U.S. Supreme Court just spared, a group of immigrants said in court.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said last month that the administration would consider ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, claiming it could spur illegal immigration. Wolf said the U.S. would reject new applications and shorten renewal periods.

A federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, will hear the start of a possible challenge to Wolf's actions on Thursday, after plaintiffs in a 2-year-old lawsuit attacked the administration's plan.

"Wolf seeks to dismantle the DACA program without complying with the basic principles of administrative and constitutional law," lawyers from Yale Law School told U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis in an Aug. 6 memo. "The Wolf Memorandum attempts to retroactively ratify that unlawful action."

A spokesperson for the Homeland Security Department didn't immediately return an email seeking comment.

In June, the Supreme Court blocked the administration from ending the initiative that shields about 670,000 young undocumented immigrants, or "Dreamers," from deportation and lets them seek jobs. The high court said the administration didn't adequately consider its options or the implications before rescinding DACA, which protects people who were brought into the country illegally as children. The court also left open the possibility for Trump to attempt to terminate the program.

Weeks later, Wolf issued the new guidelines.

 

In 2018, Garaufis ruled in favor of the group of immigrant plaintiffs, saying the administration failed to offer legally adequate reasons to end the DACA program. The case and subsequent appeal were put on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court heard other lawsuits challenging the DACA program.

The plaintiffs in the Brooklyn case said they may ask Garaufis for permission to amend their suit to challenge the legality of Wolf's new move.

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