In a ruling filed on Tuesday Jan. 9, a California judge in the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California granted an injunction in an ongoing lawsuit, to which the UC Regents and UC President Janet Napolitano are the plaintiffs, to temporarily halt the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. By order of Judge William Alsup, the administration must continue accepting renewal applications to the program while lawsuits questioning the moves’ legality are ongoing.
“Plaintiffs have established injury that reaches beyond the geographical bounds of the Northern District of California” Judge Alsup wrote in his ruling. “The problem affects every state and territory of the United States.”
Tuesday’s ruling will allow roughly 800,000 DACA recipients to remain within the United States. There is an estimated 4,000 UC students who are protected by the program.
University of California President Janet Napolitano filed a lawsuit in September 2017 against the Department of Homeland Security and Secretary Elaine Duke, claiming that the Trump administration acted illegally by canceling the program without notice. Napolitano served as the Secretary of Homeland Security prior to her time as president of the university and helped create DACA.
In a statement published on the University of California’s website, Napolitano writes, “UC’s DACA students represent the very best of our country and are a key part of California and our nation’s future. They are studying to be doctors, teachers and engineers and working to solve the greatest scientific and technological challenges of our time.”
President Donald Trump, who promised to “immediately terminate” DACA if elected, was opposed to the court’s ruling. The President tweeted early Wednesday, “It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts.”
A spokesman for the Department of Justice has stated that they intend to further litigate their opposition to DACA. Analysts anticipate the administration to appeal the ruling to a higher court.
It is also likely that the University of California will remain active in combating the program’s removal.
“UC will continue to support DACA recipients by challenging the legality of the Trump administration’s rescission of DACA, supporting congressional legislation that would allow for permanent protection, and providing services and aid to its undocumented students,” Napolitano stated.
Yesterday, Trump met with bipartisan leaders in a meeting that focused on ways of implementing effective immigration reform, including solutions for DREAMers.