People rally in front of the White House in support of the DACA program on September 5, 2017. File photo: AFP | Eric Baradat
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — In a blow to the White House's
continued bid to limit various types of entry and immigration into the United
States, a federal judge in northern California ruled the controversial DACA must remain until a final legal decision is made. The program is set to expire in March.
"Dreamers lives were thrown into chaos when the Trump
Administration tried to terminate the DACA program without obeying the
law," California Attorney General Becerra said in a statement.
"Tonight's ruling is a huge step in the right direction."
"Dreamers" are the children of people who illegally entered the United States, but for the past five years could enroll in the DACA program to put them on a path to citizenship.
US District Court Judge William Alsup granted a request by
California and other plaintiffs to prevent President Donald Trump from ending
the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program while their lawsuits
play out in court.
"DACA covers a class of immigrants whose presence,
seemingly all agree, pose the least, if any, threat and allows them to sign up
for honest labor on the condition of continued good behavior," Alsup wrote
in his decision. "This has become an important program for DACA recipients
and their families, for the employers who hire them, for our tax treasuries,
and for our economy."
DACA has prevented the deportation and protected the right
to work legally for some 800,000 children of people who didn't enter the United
The program primarily has affected Latinos; however,
according to Citizenship and Immigration Services data, India and Pakistan,
with substantial or Muslim majority populations are 2 of the top 24 countries
DACA applicants list as their place of birth.
"It means a lot of uncertainty," Nayim Islam, a
25-year-old living in New York who was born in Bangladesh, told VICE. "It
means you're being attacked from multiple angles. It means having to constantly
fight just to survive."
US President Donald Trump announced in September 2017 the
"phasing out" of DACA shortly, claiming his predecessor Barack Obama
had exceeded his authority when implementing it in 2012.
“To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the
national interest, we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here,” the
Trump administration's attorney general Jeff Sessions then announced. “That is
an open border policy, and the American people have rightly rejected it.”
DACA is set to expire in March.
Trump tweeted on Tuesday night: "As I made very clear today, our country needs the security of the Wall on the Southern Border, which must be part of any DACA approval."
Trump met with top
immigration and legal advisors, as well as members of congress on Tuesday.
"I think my positions are going to be what the people
in this room come up with," Trump said. "If they come to me with
things I'm not in love with, I'm going to do it. Because I respect them."
A toned down version of Trump's original visa ban affecting
six Muslim-majority countries was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court in
December 2017. In early January, a Michigan judge ruled that hundreds of
Iraqis, including Christian Chaldeans, had the right to an extradition hearing
prior to being deported.
Trump believes the ban is "lawful and essential to
protecting our homeland."
Iraq was removed from the list in March 2017 after it agreed
to share more biometric data with Washington and accept the repatriation of
people who had been convicted of certain felonies.