Second judge blocks Trump from ending DACA

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President Donald Trump's move to end a program protecting hundreds of thousands of children of undocumented immigrants from deportation was blocked by a federal judge in NY.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, or DACA, can not end in March as the Republican administration had planned, a victory for Democratic state attorneys general and immigrants who sued the federal government. The ruling means DACA recipients can renew their status, but the administration will not have to hold the program open to those who never applied.

Some 690,000 Dreamers registered under the DACA program, and 1.1 million others were eligible but did not sign up.

The decision is similar to a January 9 ruling by U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco that DACA must remain in place while litigation challenging Trump's decision continues. Seventeen Democratic state attorneys general brought the case challenging the administration's termination of DACA.

"Today's ruling reflects... the illegality of the Trump administration's move to rescind DACA..."

Last month, Trump introduced a proposal that would put all 1.8 million young immigrants in question on a pathway to citizenship, in exchange for stiff cutbacks on overall immigration and funding for a massive wall on the United States border with Mexico.

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"[The Trump administration] indisputably can end the DACA program", Garaufis wrote.

These two injunctions, plus heavy resistance from Democrats, could keep the program running past Trump's March 5 deadline.

Garaufis, however, said the government was "erroneous" in its conclusion that DACA was unconstitutional and that it violated the Administrative Procedures and Immigration and Nationality acts.

Roughly seven months into his term, Trump called for the program's end saying it was unconstitutionally established by President Barack Obama in 2012. As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress.

"The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend this position, and looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation", O'Malley said.

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