By Andrew Keshner
A Brooklyn federal judge is blocking the Trump Administration from pulling back the Dreamers immigration program, saying the government did not provide adequate explanations for the abrupt about-face.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis said the feds have to keep processing renewal requests for undocumented immigrants who seek protection under the at-risk Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, just as they did before Sept. 5, when the halt was first announced.
Garaufis' 55-page ruling issued the same type of preliminary injunction that was already granted by a San Francisco federal in January on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
"Plaintiffs have extensively documented the irreparable harms they will suffer if the DACA program ends," the judge said, noting that some 1,400 DACA recipients would lose important protections and work authorizations each day, beginning March 5.
Garaufis' ruling in favor of Dreamers and a coalition of attorneys general led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is the latest twist in the status of DACA.
Ahead of his ruling Tuesday, Garaufis acknowledged it would be best if elected officials -- rather than judges -- settled on a solution for DACA.
But lawmakers have not been able to do it. The government even shut down for a couple days over the issue.
Before Garaufis, San Francisco Federal Judge William Alsup imposed a preliminary injunction last month.
Justice Department lawyers are appealing directly to the Supreme Court on the San Francisco ruling, rather than going through the circuit court.
The Supreme Court has yet to decide if it will hear the government's appeal.
The Justice Department has argued in court papers that DACA's halt was done in a rational, reasonable way with sufficient explanation.
Garaufis' response: Dream on.
The Dreamers and states, he wrote, were "substantially likely" to show the halt was "arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion."
During court arguments, Garaufis said he couldn't ignore Trump's "recurring, redundant drumbeat of anti-Latino commentary" or put out of his mind how the commander-in-chief's words could factor into DACA's demise.
The ruling Tuesday didn't wade into whether the halt was fueled by anti-Latino discrimination.
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