ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - A federal judge in San Francisco issued a nationwide injunction ordering the Trump administration to revive DACA. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program allows undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to work legally in the United States.
“They’re all fluent in English, they’re all people who we’ve invested in," said Executive Director of the Immigration Law Center of Minnesota, John Keller, who welcomed the surprising turn on DACA.
“It is a legal status,” said Keller. “It’s been recognized for decades, the fact that this administration disagrees with DACA doesn't make deferred action an illegal thing.”
While the Justice Department promises to fight the injunction, the ruling followed a rare public meeting at the White House Tuesday. The President met with both Democrats and Republicans on immigration and made his case for renewing DACA in exchange for border wall funding.
“Truly, it should be a bill of love and we can do that,” said President Trump.
Immigration attorney Kara Lynum told Fox 9 she believes the community, commonly known as “Dreamers,” deserves a clean DREAM Act - a bill that would ensure the young immigrants' legal status with a path to citizenship.
“Many of them are in their 30s, so many of them have because of DACA gone to college, started families, bought houses, so they’re very rooted here,” said Lynum.
Since September, when the Trump Administration called for an end to the program, 14,000 have lost DACA protections.
According to the Immigration Law Center of Minnesota 122 people every day lose DACA protections which include a driver’s license, work permit, and healthcare.
Across the country, 800,000 people could face deportation if DACA ends in March as Trump originally planned.
While Tuesday’s ruling is considered a safety valve for now, if that valve is broken, the ramifications will be difficult to ignore.
“The consequences are the lives of people that we work with every day,” said Keller.
A decision on DACA will impact at least 6,300 people in Minnesota, who truly have no other home.
“They are American in every single way except their birth certificate,” said Lynum.
Under the ruling, DACA recipients will be allowed to renew their status, but the government will not be required to accept new applications or allow “Dreamers” to return to the U.S. if they leave.
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