On Saturday, a federal judge in New York City ruled that Chad Wolf was not legally serving as acting Homeland Security secretary when he signed rules limiting applications and renewals for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program back in July. As such, the rules are now invalid.
In July, Wolf had issued a memo saying that new applications for DACA, the Obama-era program that shields undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation, would not be accepted and renewals would be limited to one year instead of two amid an ongoing review.
The Trump administration had tried to end the DACA program in 2017, but the U.S. Supreme Court blocked its attempt in June of this year. Wolf’s July memo had been issued shortly after the Supreme Court decision.
This is wonderful news for many undocumented immigrants throughout the United States. According to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, roughly 1.1 million undocumented immigrants are prima facie eligible for DACA. That being said, this ruling can be subject to appeal. USCIS is yet to issue guidance on the matter.
There have been previous questions over the legality of Wolf's appointment and the Trump administration is renewing a push to get Wolf confirmed as Homeland Security secretary before Inauguration Day (right now, he is currently serving in an acting capacity).
To see a copy of the ruling, please click here.
If you are thinking of applying for DACA, it is important to speak with an immigration attorney for updates on DACA. Please call Blaszkow Legal at (703) 879-5910.