Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A federal judge in Brooklyn, N.Y. restored DACA nationwide – including those in South King County – who were stripped of their protections orders by President Donald Trump.

The court order, which applies nationally, orders the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to accept first-time applications from immigrants, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Demonstrators gathered in front of the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C, where the court was hearing arguments on. Nov. 12, 2019. Washington Post photo.

Thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children are immediately eligible to apply for an Obama-era program that grants them work permits, a federal judge in New York ruled Friday.

Valid two years
The Washingon Post story said U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in Brooklyn said he was fully restoring the eight-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program to the days before the Trump administration tried to end it in September 2017. He ordered the Department of Homeland Security to post a public notice by Monday to accept first-time applications and ensure that work permits are valid for two years.

Judge restores DACA protections
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf had issued a memo in July reducing DACA recipients’ work permits to one year, but Garaufis ruled last month that Wolf had unlawfully ascended to the agency’s top job and vacated the memo.

“The court believes that these additional remedies are reasonable,” Garaufis said. “Indeed, the government has assured the court that a public notice along the lines described is forthcoming.”

Maybe not ‘in the clear’
But the immigrants known as “dreamers” are not necessarily in the clear. Attorneys General in Texas and other states have asked a federal judge to declare DACA unlawful and to provide for an orderly wind down of it. A hearing in that case is scheduled for later this month.

Karen Tumlin, a lawyer for the immigrants in the case, cheered the New York judge’s ruling Friday. But she said the immigrants need Congress to pass a law that would grant them a firm path to citizenship.

Advocates for immigrants cheered the long-awaited ruling, the Post reported, though they have expected that President-elect Joe Biden will fully restore the DACA program as soon as he takes office in January, something he has pledged to do.

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