A federal judge in New York who ruled over the weekend that the new DACA rules were invalid tore into the Trump administration for its handling of the program in a hearing Wednesday, calling the latest government actions a “sad and inappropriate use of executive authority.”
“I just want you to understand that I believe that we should have a process, a legal process here, as everywhere else, but sadly, what we’re doing is impacting the lives of many, many people, who are buoyed by the Supreme Court decision in June and have been undermined by the conduct of the Department of Homeland Security since then, as I set forth in my decision,” Judge Nicholas Garaufis said.
On Saturday, Garaufis ruled that Chad Wolf was not legally serving as acting Homeland Security secretary when he signed rules limiting applications and renewals for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and those rules are now invalid.
Wolf in July issued a memo saying that new applications for DACA, the Obama-era program that shields undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation, would not be accepted and renewals would be limited to one year instead of two.
The ruling marked another defeat for the Trump administration. The President has been successful in establishing many immigration limits, but has not been able to significantly dismantle DACA, the now eight-year-old program.
The administration tried ending the program in 2017, but the US Supreme Court blocked their attempt in June. The memo invalidated on Saturday had sought to buy time while the administration decided its next steps.
Garaufis accused the government of running out the clock, from the day the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA to Inauguration Day, saying he was “deeply concerned” and “disappointed” by that.
The Department of Homeland Security tried over the weekend to self-correct its line of succession for the second time in the last three months over concerns Wolf’s authority.
Garaufis was not impressed, calling it a “sad and inappropriate use of executive authority to keep DACA recipients & DACA-eligible individuals (from accessing protections).”
Garaufis also read aloud the statement put out by DHS calling him an “activist judge” and cited Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who recommended Garaufis for the court: “You’re entitled to your own opinions, you’re not entitled to your own facts.”