On Monday, President Trump’s phaseout of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was deemed legal by a federal judge.
However, the ruling does not overturn two other federal courts that previously blocked the phaseout.
According to The Washington Times, Judge Roger W. Titus, a Bush appointee to the bench in Maryland, said judges in California and New York blocked the DACA phaseout to strike at Trump’s policies and attempted to substitute their own judgements for the Homeland Security Department.
Judge Titus praised the Trump administration for the way it handled the situation.
“This decision took control of a pell mell situation and provided Congress — the branch of government charged with determining immigration policy — an opportunity to remedy it,” Titus wrote. “Given the reasonable belief that DACA was unlawful, the decision to wind down DACA in an orderly manner was rational.”
Obama created the program in 2012 and used executive authority to protect hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children from being deported. As of Jan. 31, about 683,000 people were being protected.
Last September Trump faced lawsuit threats from other states after he announced the phaseout.
Many immigrant-rights groups objected and sued, with at least five cases in California, two in New York, one in Washington, D.C. and one in Maryland. Several judges in these states have ruled the DACA program legal, and put a nationwide halt on the phaseout.
However Judge Titus said the administration was facing a credible legal threat from Texas, the state leading a coalition of anti-DACA states in a legal suit to prove the program’s illegality.
The attorney general had doubts about their ability to mount a defense for the program, so the Homeland Security Department’s decision was not arbitrary.
Judge Titus also wrote to those who were against Trump’s comments on illegal immigration.
“As disheartening or inappropriate as the president’s occasionally disparaging remarks may be, they are not relevant to the larger issues governing the DACA rescission. The DACA Rescission Memo is clear as to its purpose and reasoning, and its decision is rationally supported by the administrative record.”
Gulf Times reported that Trump pointed to the ruling yesterday, saying in a tweet he is “waiting for the Dems” to come up with legislation for the Dreamers and other immigration issues.
Trump announced in September that he would end the program. That decision was supposed to take effect on Monday, but the deadline passed without any of the feared deportations because the fate of DACA is now up to the courts.