The Trump administration must accept applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects some young immigrants from deportation, a federal judge ruled Friday, the Associated Press reports. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis vacated a memo from the acting Homeland Security secretary that had suspended DACA. Garaufis said the government must post a public notice within three days that new applications were being accepted. In November, Garaufis said Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was unlawfully in his position. Wolf suspended DACA after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President Donald Trump failed to follow rule-making procedures when he tried to end the program. Garaufis ordered the government to put together a status report on DACA by Jan. 4.
DACA, which was started in 2012 during the Obama administration, allows certain young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to work legally and shields them from deportation. Those who are approved it must go through background checks. The Trump administration had announced the end of the program in 2017, leading to the legal challenges that wound up at the Supreme Court. “Dreamers have fought so hard for justice. For the second time, a court has ordered the administration to resume processing DACA applications. It’s time to do the right thing,” said Jennifer Molina, a spokesperson for President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team. She said Biden would “ensure Dreamers and their families have the opportunity to live their lives free of fear and continue to contribute to our country.” About 650,000 people are currently enrolled in the program.