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A federal judge in New York City said Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was unlawfully appointed as acting DHS head. Therefore, his suspension of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protections is invalid. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Trump administration unfairly tried to shut down DACA, which protects migrants brought to the U.S. as children. Wolf suspended DACA’s pending review the following month. Judge Nicholas Garaufis said court conferences will determine the impact of his ruling. Trump nominated Wolf to head DHS over the summer, but he has not received a full vote in the Senate.
As part of his legacy, Wolf declared current DACA recipients would only remain eligible for one-year extensions of work authorization and protection from deportation, contrary to the two-year period when the program was created. He also re-established the Trump administration’s policy of denying new DACA applications. Garaufis said Wolf did not have the proper authority to make these restrictions. The judge then certified a group of immigrants who are or could be eligible for DACA under previous guidelines, which applies to about 1.1 million immigrant teenagers and young adults.
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DHS rejected the ruling as politically motivated. “Judge Garaufis’ ruling is another example of an activist judge substituting his own policy preference for those of the Trump Administration,” the agency said. “His reasoning has already been thoroughly discredited, and his unwillingness to seriously engage on the facts or the law is disappointing.” NBC News, CBS News
In other federal immigration news…
Biden Will Face Early Immigration Test
President-elect Joe Biden mentioned that one of his main priorities is to reverse Trump’s restrictive immigration policies. To do so, he might have to entirely revamp DHS. The department has enacted many anti-immigration policies, such as separating families at the border, banning travel from Muslim-majority countries and building a wall along the Mexican border. Most of the Trump administration’s policies cannot be undone immediately, leading Biden to possibly face an early test if migration to the southern border grows with Trump’s pending departure. The New York Times
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