A federal judge has thwarted Donald Trump’s efforts to end DACA, the Obama-era protections for undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors, in part thanks to Trump’s own tweets.
On Tuesday, San Francisco US District Judge William Alsup ruled that the Trump administration must “maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis” while the lawsuit is pending. Per the Washington Post, in the 49-page order, Alsup cited Donald Trump’s tweets supporting DACA and vetted undocumented immigrants in his decision:
“We seem to be in the unusual position wherein the ultimate authority over the agency, the Chief Executive, publicly favors the very program the agency has ended. For the reasons DACA was instituted and for the reasons tweeted by President Trump, this order finds that the public interest will be served by DACA’s continuation,” he wrote.
The Trump administration announced DACA’s phase-out in September. The program is set to end March 5, and about 690,000 undocumented immigrants once protected under DACA may face deportation. Between September and March, an estimated 122 people will lose their federal protection per day, according to the Center for American Progress.
“These individuals had submitted substantial personal identifying information to the government, paid hefty fees and planned their lives according to the dictates of Daca,” Alsup wrote. “The administrative record includes no consideration to the disruption a rescission would have on the lives of Daca recipients, let alone their families, employers and employees, schools and communities.”
The order, which applies nationwide, allows DACA recipients to renew their status, but does not require the federal government to process new applications for the program. However, the Trump administration plans to appeal Alsup’s ruling, and advocates fear that the Department of Homeland Security may not cooperate.
“They can’t go back and renew today,” Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, told the Washington Post. “We expect there to be a lot of confusion in communities about what that means.”
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the ruling “outrageous” and said, “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.”