A federal judge in California ordered the Trump administration on Tuesday to keep in place the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children from deportation and allows them to work legally, while a lawsuit proceeds.
The order, signed by U.S. District Judge Williams Alsup, marks a major triumph for immigrant rights groups who have rallied around the program that benefits nearly 700,000 people.
The preliminary injunction on Trump’s cancellation of DACA requires the Department of Homeland Security “to maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis on the same terms and conditions as were in effect before the rescission on September 5, 2017” ― including allowing those who already benefit from DACA to apply to renew their status.
The order does not, however, allow people who have never held DACA protections to apply as new applicants.
“Dreamers’ lives were thrown into chaos when the Trump administration tried to terminate the DACA program without obeying the law,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) said in a statement. “Today’s ruling is a huge step in the right direction.
The Trump administration “looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation,” Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement.
“Tonight’s order doesn’t change the Department of Justice’s position on the facts,” the statement said. “DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend these benefits to this same group of illegal aliens.”
The White House on Wednesday called the judge’s ruling “outrageous,” and Trump, in a tweet, blasted the “court system” as “broken and unfair.”
“An issue of this magnitude must go through the normal legislative process,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “President Trump is committed to the rule of law, and will work with members of both parties to reach a permanent solution that corrects the unconstitutional actions taken by the last administration.”
Before the order, the program was scheduled to begin phasing out on March 5.
Alsup is presiding over five lawsuits challenging the legality of Trump’s termination of DACA that were consolidated into one in the Northern District of California. The state of California, the Regents of the University of California, the city of San José and several DACA recipients are among those suing in an attempt to preserve the program.
The lawsuits argue that the White House flouted the process for terminating the program in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and that the cancellation was based on flawed legal logic.
The Obama administration used executive action to create the DACA program in 2012, allowing undocumented immigrants who arrived as children or young teenagers to apply to work legally in the country and avoid deportation for a renewable two-year period.
The Trump administration announced in September, however, that it would cancel the program, citing a threat from a coalition of 10 states, led by Texas, to challenge the program’s constitutionality.
At press time, we learned that the Trump Administration is appealing this decision in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and has asked the Supreme Court for an unusual immediate review the decision.
Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) announced last Thursday that they are skipping last Saturday’s opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson because Donald Trump will be in attendance—something they consider to be “an insult” to the black heroes commemorated there.
Thompson and Lewis issued a joint statement that said, “President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum.” According to its website, the museum “shares the stories of a Mississippi movement that changed the world” and “promotes a greater understanding of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and its impact by highlighting the strength and sacrifices of its people.”
The website continues, ”Visitors will witness the freedom struggle in eight interactive galleries that show the systematic oppression of black Mississippians and their fight for equality that transformed the state and nation. Seven of the galleries encircle a central space called “This Little Light of Mine.” There, a dramatic sculpture glows brighter and the music of the Movement swells as visitors gather.”
President Donald Trump was the lead person spreading the lie that President Barack Obama, America’s first Black president, was not born in the U. S. President Trump also equated Ku Klux Klan members and Neo-Nazis to people protesting the evils of racism during the deadly White supremacist marches in Charlottesville, Va. last August.
Repeatedly, in front of the nation, he has flagrantly displayed racial insensitivities; even with his most recent support of Senate Candidate Roy Moore in Alabama, not only an accused pedophile, but a man who has said America was last great during slavery.
Since his inauguration, Trump and his appointee Attorney General Jeff Sessions have careful demolished important policies put in place during the Obama administration for the purpose of preventing police brutality and other issues of racial inequality in the criminal justice system.
In addition, President Trump has claimed massive voter fraud in America, a claim that experts say is patently false.
These are just a handful of the reasons that civil rights leaders opposed the president’s attendance at the Dec. 10 opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. They argue that the museum is like hallowed ground that celebrates those who risked their lives to fight against everything that Trump appears to embrace – despite his words to the contrary.
“President Trump’s presence at the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is not a show of respect. It’s merely a photo op,” says Derrick Johnson, president/CEO of the NAACP. “I live in Mississippi and its civil rights leaders are my mentors, sheroes, and heroes. I cannot sit silently alongside a man who has used the power of his office to turn back the clock on hard-won rights.”
In response to the announcement from Lewis and Thompson, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement, “We think it’s unfortunate that these members of Congress wouldn’t join the president in honoring the incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history.”
Lewis is an icon of the civil rights movement for his work in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was at the lead of the civil rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in March 1965. He also participated in sit-ins in Nashville, Tennessee and in the Freedom Rides that ended in a mass arrest in Jackson, Mississippi. So it is fair to say that John Lewis is one of the civil rights heroes recognized in the museum.