In the midst of the political firestorm on Capitol Hill over the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — a program that protects immigrants brought into the country as children from deportation — a California federal judge has blocked the Trump Administration's attempt to scrap the program altogether.
On Tuesday evening, U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ruled in favor of California and several other states who had sued the White House in September, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration would begin phasing out DACA
. Sessions' decision would have put nearly 800,000 DACA recipients (or, "Dreamers") in danger of deportation as soon as March 5. Alsup's temporary injunction, however, keeps protections against those immigrants in place until the multiple lawsuits
against the administration's move plays out in court.
Alsup's main reasoning for the injunction
: he disagreed with Sessions' claim that the Obama Administration broke federal law by introducing DACA in 2012.
It's still unclear if this also means DACA recipients are allowed to renew their permits. And, Alsup added, the Trump Administration can still keep DACA recipients from re-entering the U.S if they leave the country.
This decision comes as members of Congress, and Trump himself, battle over their own solution to soften the looming blow of DACA's demise. The most cemented, bipartisan idea has been presented by San Antonio's own Republican Congressman Will Hurd and Pete Aguilar, a California Democrat.
The bill would offer immigrants qualified for DACA a pathway to citizenship
(provided they meet certain job/education requirements), would increase the number of immigration judges and attorneys to reduce the immense backlog of cases, would (somehow) work towards improving living conditions in Central America to reduce the number of immigrants flowing in from the region, and — here's the Trump-friendly part — would direct the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a mile-by-mile analysis of the border and determine which areas would truly require a physical wall. The goal: gaining "operational control" of the border by 2020. The bill wouldn't fund Trump's border wall, but it would kick off what Hurd calls "a foundation for these discussions."
Ideally, this legislation would keep the government from shutting down on Jan. 19, since it fulfills both Republican and Democrat budget desires. It has yet to be formally introduced in the House.
While Trump responded to the California injunction on Twitter, naturally, by calling the court system "unfair" (and his administration will likely appeal), he told reporters Tuesday he wants Congress' DACA resolution to be a "bill of love."
Whatever that means.