WASHINGTON (AFP) – A judge on Saturday rejected the White House’s limitations on a programme protecting 700,000 so-called Dreamers, undocumented migrants brought to the United States (US) as children.
The federal judge in New York ruled that US President Donald Trump’s Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was not lawfully serving in his role when he issued the new rules for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme in July.
The ruling is another victory for proponents of the Barack Obama-era programme after the US Supreme Court in June rejected Trump’s cancellation of it.
President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump in the November 3 polls, had pledged to reinstate the programme when he takes office on January 20. Wolf, who has not been confirmed in his role by the US Senate, issued new restrictions on the programme in response to the Supreme Court ruling.
Saturday’s court decision said his restrictions “effectively suspended” DACA while the Trump administration reviewed how to proceed.
Wolf’s rules said new applications would not be accepted and renewals would be limited to one year instead of two.
They are now invalid because “the court holds that Wolf was not lawfully serving as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security under the Homeland Security Act” when he issued them, the ruling said.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis said the correct order of succession had not been followed for the acting secretary appointment.