US fully restores protections for young immigrants

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Trump administration said on Monday that it fully restored the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme that shields hundreds of thousands of young people from deportation, complying with a federal judge’s order.

The Department of Homeland Security posted on its website that it is accepting new applications, petitions for two-year renewals and requests for permission to temporarily leave the United States (US).

The department said it “may seek relief from the order,” signalling that its concession to the court order may be short-lived if its legal efforts succeed.

The announcement is still a major victory for young people who have been unable to apply since Trump ended DACA in September 2017. His administration has long argued that DACA is unconstitutional.

After the US Supreme Court ruled in June that Trump violated federal law in how he ended the program, Chad Wolf, the acting Homeland Security secretary, said the administration would study its options and, until then, wouldn’t accept new applications and would grant renewals for one year instead two. DACA shields about 650,000 people from deportation and makes them eligible for work permits.

Monday’s announcement came hours before a deadline set by District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in the Eastern District of New York for the administration to post public notice that it would accept applications under terms before Trump ended DACA in 2017. The judge ruled last Friday that Wolf was unlawfully serving in his position.