Alexis Berdine

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018

Second Federal judge rules against Trump Administration’s DACA decision

PHOENIX – A second federal judge temporarily blocked on Tuesday the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals-DACA-program.

U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, of the Eastern District of New York, ruled that DACA recipients and states are likely to succeed in their challenge that the way President Donald Trump ended the Obama-era program was arbitrary and capricious.

Garaufis’ ruling, along with a ruling from a California judge last month, means the program could end up going beyond the March 5 deadline given to congress by the president to reach a decision on the program.

Tuesday’s ruling means DACA recipients can renew their status, but the administration will not have to hold the program open to those who never applied.

Local reactions around the Valley were mixed, filled with a sense of temporary relief, but also a continued feeling of fear over their unsure status.

Edder Martinez, Communications Director with Undocumented Students for Education Equity and an Arizona State University DACA student, is one of the almost 26,000 DACA recipients living in Arizona.

“It’s great. It’s definitely positive. It’s a relief in the sense that I know that others in my community will have protections and because of these rulings they will be able to re-apply for their DACA status,” Martinez said. “I feel good but obviously we can’t just keep continuing to have extensions.”

Martinez added he hopes that members of congress will continue to work fast, even though this ruling may have alleviated the pressure of a deadline. He wants them to continue to debate this issue and still solve it before the original deadline of March 5.

Vastly Lamadrid, Co-founder of Undocumented Students for Education Equity at ASU and also a DACA recipient, fears that, with these rulings, congress may now no longer see this issue as a priority. She is afraid that without a looming DACA deadline, legislators will not act as quickly as they can.

“I think that when Trump made the decision to end DACA, it shook the community and made everyone feel uncertain. This decision can offer some relief for DACA recipients and their overall community,” Lamadrid said.

Lamadrid feels that President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric and his decision over DACA, are what ultimately awoke a movement within DACA recipients and community members.