Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) cannot end in March, according to U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, making this the second judge to determine that President Donald Trump's decision to end the program must be blocked.
The decision is similar to an earlier ruling by a federal judge in San Francisco that DACA must remain in place while litigation over Trump’s decision unfolds. The legal battle over DACA could complicate a debate currently underway in Congress on whether to change the nation’s immigration laws.
The Supreme Court on Friday is due to consider whether to take up the administration’s appeal of the San Francisco ruling. The court could announce as soon as Friday afternoon whether it is hearing the case.
In Tuesday's ruling, Garaufis said the Trump administration's reasoning for ending the program was too arbitrary but held open the possibility that DACA could still be terminated down the road.
Garaufis ordered the government to process both initial requests for DACA status, as well as renewals, on the same terms as had been in place before the administration made its announcement last September.