Months after acting Department of Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf issued a memo suspending all new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a federal judge has instructed the government to resume accepting new DACA applicants.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis of Brooklyn’s U.S. District Court ruled on Friday that the Trump administration must post public notice on all relevant websites that DACA is accepting new applicants by Monday at the latest, the Associated Press reports. Garaufis additionally ordered the government to approve two-year work permits rather than the one-year permits proposed by the Trump administration this summer, per CBS News.
“I was so excited,” Johana Larios, a member of working-class immigrant advocacy group Make the Road New York who intends to apply for DACA herself, told CBS News. “I didn’t know how to react. I’m thankful… I could go back to school, work. And to have that feeling of not being separated from my kids, that’s the most important thing for me right now.”
Outgoing president Donald Trump has been attacking the Obama-era policy, which benefits as many as 800,000 undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children, since before he entered the White House, vowing to “immediately terminate” the program during his first presidential campaign announcement in 2015. Following years of suspension efforts and legal pushback, culminating in a Supreme Court decision on the matter in June, Wolf issued the suspension memo that Garaufis has now invalidated.
“Every time the outgoing administration tried to use young immigrants as political scapegoats, they defiled the values of our nation,” New York state attorney general Letitia James, who was behind one of the lawsuits against the Trump administration’s suspension efforts, told the AP. “The court’s order makes clear that fairness, inclusion, and compassion matter.”