Following the restoration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by a federal judge in New York on Friday, Democratic politicians praised the decision after President Donald Trump tried to stop the program three years ago.
The DACA protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the USA as children, so-called “dreamers”. Those who are part of the program are entitled to a work permit and a postponement of deportation for a renewable period of two years.
As a result of the decision of Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, the New York Times reported that up to 300,000 new people could be eligible for the program. A July memo by the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Chad Wolf, had set different limits for the program so that only those who had already applied could take advantage of the benefits and the duration was reduced to one year.
“The tribunal believes that these additional remedies are appropriate,” Garaufis told the Washington Post. “In fact, the government has assured the court that a public announcement along the lines described is imminent.
The ruling also ordered DHS to make a public announcement about the program by Monday.
The decision comes less than 50 days before President-Elect Joe Biden takes office. On his campaign website, Biden had said that he would reinstate the DACA when he took office.
With this decision, a number of democratic politicians showed their support for the decision. In a statement, House of Representatives spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi described the original creation of the DACA under President Barack Obama’s administration in 2012 as “a significant step toward equal rights and opportunities” and said the ruling “supports this fundamental initiative that respects our American values and the will of the American people. It also promised further protection for the Dreamers under the Biden administration.
“Dreamers need and deserve real, lasting measures to ensure that they continue to contribute to our nation. In the 117th Congress, our Democratic House majority will once again pass a bipartisan bill to protect dreamers, signed by the Biden-Harris administration. We urge Republicans in Congress to end their 18-month obstruction of the Dreamer Protection Act and listen to the overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans calling for its passage,” Pelosi wrote.
With today’s decision to fully restore the DACA, the courts have once again confirmed this fundamental initiative, which respects our American values and the will of the American people. https://t.co/wAgujqJjSS
– Nancy Pelosi (@ReferentinPelosi) December 5, 2020
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York Senator Chuck Schumer and other Democrats also celebrated the decision. “Congratulations to all who fought with all their hearts for this victory,” she twittered.
DACA is back, and our dreamers are #HereToStay. Congratulations to all who fought with all their hearts for this victory.https://t.co/VR61YZRezH
– Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 5, 2020
A federal court has just ordered DHS to accept DACA applications again starting Monday.
This is a victory for our dreamers and we will not stop fighting for them. #HomeIsHerehttps://t.co/MNZGnW7x0y
– Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 5, 2020
BIG NEWS! The #DREAMers are here to stay and DHS must start accepting new #DACA requests. This is long overdue! https://t.co/qyqKWCdy3C
– Rep. Sylvia Garcia (@RepSylviaGarcia) December 4, 2020
This is fantastic news, and it is long overdue.
You dreamers, you are the future of a great America.
You are here to stay where you belong. #HomeIsHere https://t.co/yvBrQVmdRl
– Martin Heinrich (@MartinHeinrich) December 5, 2020
Despite overwhelming support for the ruling, some Republicans opposed it. Lauren Witzke, a Republican who ran for the Senate seat in Delaware in November, twittered her disapproval. “DACA is illegal immigration. Any member of @SenateGOP who supports the amnesty is a traitor to our country,” she wrote.
DACA is illegal immigration. Every member of @SenateGOP who supports amnesty is a traitor to our country,” she wrote.
We will NOT forget that!
– Lauren Witzke (@LaurenWitzkeDE) December 4, 2020
Washington Newsday turned to DHS and U.S. Immigrants and Customs Enforcement for comments, but did not receive a response in time for publication.