‘Dreamers’: Judge blocks ouster plan

| | Washington

A US federal judge has temporarily blocked the Trump Administration from rescinding the Obama-era protection from deportation for about 8,00,000 young illegal immigrants, including some 7,800 Indians, even as the US Congress began negotiations to find an urgent legislative fix to the tangle.

Holding that the administration’s decision to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was based on a flawed legal premise, Judge William Alsup of Federal District Court in San Francisco issued a nationwide injunction late on Tuesday, pending final judgement in the case.

The Trump administration had in September announced its decision to rescind DACA, taking the stand that former President Barack Obama had gone beyond his legal authority to institute the programme. It, however, gave the US Congress a six-month window to come up with its own legislative fix to the issue.

“DACA covers a class of immigrants whose presence, seemingly all agree, pose the least, if any, threat and allows them to sign up for honest labor on the condition of continued good behaviour,” Judge Alsup wrote in his order. “This has become an important programme for DACA recipients and their families, for the employers who hire them, for our tax treasuries, and for our economy.”

The White House was quick to slam the judge’s decision. “We find this decision to be outrageous, especially in light of the President’s successful bipartisan meeting with House and Senate members at the White House on the same day,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

“An issue of this magnitude must go through the normal legislative process,” Sanders said, adding: “President Trump is committed to the rule of law, and will work with members of both parties to reach a permanent solution that corrects the unconstitutional actions taken by the last administration.”

President Trump himself, earlier in the day, said that he would go by what Congress decides on DACA. At his bipartisan meeting, he asked Republican and Democratic lawmakers to simultaneously work on the related issues of border security, ending chain migration, promoting merit-based immigration, and abolishing the visa lottery programme for immigration from certain countries.

Reacting to the judge’s ruling, the Justice Department put out a statement, sticking to its stance that the Obama administration implemented DACA unilaterally after the Congress declined to extend the benefits to this group of illegal aliens. It asserted that the Trump administration was well within its legal authority to wind down DACA in an orderly manner.

The University of California and others who had brought the legal challenge argued that the lives of “Dreamers” (as this group of young illegal aliens is called) had been thrown into chaos by the Trump administration’s decision to terminate DACA “without obeying the law”. .

“America is and has been home to Dreamers who courageously came forward, applied for DACA and did everything the federal government asked of them,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said, adding: “They followed DACA’s rules, they succeeded in school, at work and in business, and they have contributed in building a better America. We will fight at every turn for their rights and opportunities so they may continue to contribute to America.”



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