Federal Judge Nullifies Signature Trump Policy As Presidency Implodes

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When Department of Homeland Security’s acting Director Kevin McAleenan, left his post, Donald Trump nominated Chad Wolf, who ordered sweeping restrictions on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, limiting applications and renewals in ways that prevented eligible recipients from receiving DACA protections. On Saturday, a judge overturned that decision, saying that Wolf was “acting illegally” since he was not installed as head of the department in a legal manner.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled that Wolf’s ascendancy to the position did not follow the legal processes and that all policies he implemented were invalid as a result. The win is considered a huge victory for immigration advocates and DACA recipients, who have suffered under Trump’s anti-immigration agenda and policies.

NBC News reports that:

‘[Garaufis] concluded, “Wolf was not lawfully serving as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security under the HSA [Homeland Security Act] when he issued the Wolf Memorandum” that suspended DACA.

In fact, Judge Garaufis determined that both Wolf and McAleenan had served in the position illegally, with neither having undergone the normal processes of confirmation. Although Garaufis noted that court conferences would need to be held in order to work out the details of his ruling, the Wolf Memorandum limiting DACA applications and renewals is no longer in effect following the ruling.

‘Based on the plain text of the operative order of succession, neither Mr. McAleenan nor, in turn, Mr. Wolf, possessed statutory authority to serve as Acting Secretary. Therefore the Wolf Memorandum was not an exercise of legal authority.’

DACA recipients are adults who were brought to the United States as children, people who have made their homes in the U.S. and who work or go to school as a condition of remaining in the country. Without those protections, the people who are eligible for DACA have been forced to worry that they would be deported to a country where they have no home and no memories. Karen Tumlin, the director of the Los Angeles-based Justice Action Center who served as the lawyer in the case, said the decision created hope for DACA recipients.

‘the ruling applies to more than a million people, including more recent applicants and those seeking two-year renewals for protection under DACA.

‘”This is really a hopeful day for a lot of young people across the country,” Tumlin said.’