Judge blocks Trump efforts to rescind DACA


Demonstrators hold signs in front of the Neal Smith Federal Building for the Iowans Need Your Help: Rally To Support Dreamers and TPS Holders on Dec. 1, 2017. About 50 people attended the event.

Chris Anderson

Tuesday evening a federal judge blocked efforts by the Trump administration to rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

A case where the plaintiff, the regents and president of the University of California, suing the Department of Homeland Security, who administers the DACA program, asked for provisional relief and protection for DACA recipients was heard by U.S. District Judge William Alsup in a District Court.

Alsup ruled the plaintiffs demonstrated that DACA recipients as well as their families, schools, employers and communities are likely to suffer irreparable harm as a result of the recession. He also noted that limiting the relief to the individual plaintiffs in the state of California would lead to administrative confusion, thus the ruling applies nationwide.

“The most practical relief is to maintain DACA in the same manner to which the agency and recipients are accustomed,” Alsup wrote.

Alsup also questioned the integrity of the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA, and said Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ conclusion of the program was illegal and “based on a flawed legal premise.”

The relief granted in the ruling will allow former DACA recipients who failed to renew by Oct. 5 a chance to submit renewal applications and will require the administration to allow renewal of applications set to expire. The decision does not force the Trump administration to accept new DACA applicants.

President Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning to express his dissatisfaction with the ruling.

“It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our court system is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump also added on Twitter that any future attempts at immigration reform must include funding for the border wall, a campaign promise of his.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called the decision “outrageous.” The White House is doubling down on the premise of the DACA program being an illegal act, and allegedly hopes to resolve immigration issues through congressional action.

“An issue of this magnitude must go through the normal legislative process,” Sanders said in a statement. “President Trump is committed to the rule of law, and will work with members of both parties to reach a permanent solution that corrects the unconstitutional actions taken by the last administration.”

Iowa State political science professor Steffen Schmidt calls the decision an “inconvenience” for the Trump administration. Schmidt believes the real impact of this will be seen in the days ahead.

Schmidt noted district court rulings are not often the final decision in issues like these. The case could eventually make it to the Supreme Court. Another option, however, is the issue of immigration being settled through Congress.

“Congress may want to take this up as part of that lingering and unfinished promise to fix immigration with a comprehensive policy,” Schmidt said.

President Trump recently met with Republican and Democratic lawmakers in a meeting Tuesday which may have sought to provide an immigration reform plan that seeks to grant undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship.

In the meantime, Schmidt feels this is a “cruel and heartless” delay for the 800,000+ DACA recipients and their families left in limbo.

The Latinx Student Leader Council put out a written statement assuring students affected by the decision to rescind DACA that administrators at Iowa State will support them.

The council called immigrants “integral members of our communities” and the foundation of America. They shared DACA recipients are parents and family members to around 193,000 U.S. citizen children, and they feel this decision will have the result of tearing families apart. They also stressed the economic, cultural and social contributions immigrants make to the United States.

In an email sent to the Daily, a group identified as the Latinx Student Leader Council and the Office of the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion urged students to take action by calling legislators.

“Immigrants are welcomed here and make America great,” the Latinx Student Leader Council said in the statement.

See the statement in full:

“On behalf of the Latinx Student Leader Council at Iowa State University, we extend our support to all individuals who are affected by the recent Trump administration’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the nearly 200,000 individuals from El Salvador. In addition, we stand with the nearly 700,000 Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students who are being affected by the decision of the Trump Administration to end DACA pending Congress review.

Immigrants are integral members of our communities and the foundation of America represented by the Statue of Liberty. The affected individuals have made the United States their home, many for more than a decade. They are parents and family members to about 193,000 US citizen children, meaning this devastating decision will rip families apart. They will need to make the incredibly difficult decision to uproot their families or separate from their loved ones. Additionally, they are economic, cultural and social contributors to the United States.

Ending the Temporary Protective Status could cost the United States $45.2 billion over 10 years according to an April 2017 Immigrant Legal Resource Report. Currently, El Salvador cannot repatriate the nearly 200,000 individuals that has suffered from natural disasters. We urge everyone to take action by calling legislators now. Students who are affected in any way by this decision, know that administrators at this university are here to support you. Immigrants are welcomed here and make America great.”


Editor’s note: This story originally attributed a statement to Dr. Consuelo Liz Mednez-Shannon. It is now accurately attributed to the Latinx Student Leader Council.