Second judge blocks Trump administration from ending DACA

A second federal judge has issued an injunction barring the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program while litigation plays out in courts.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, an appointee of former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonThe Evergreen State and the soul of the Democratic Party Biden, Eastland and rejecting the cult of civility Democrats not keen to reignite Jerusalem embassy fight MORE, wrote in a court order Tuesday in New York City that the administration could not rescind the Obama-era program "pending a decision on the merits of these cases."

"Defendants thus must continue processing both initial DACA applications and DACA renewal requests under the same terms and conditions that applied before September 5, 2017, subject to the limitations described below," he wrote.

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The New York ruling is similar to one issued last month by San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who ordered the administration to continue processing DACA applications. 

Shortly after that order, the Trump administration formally asked the Supreme Court to review the lower court's decision. The justices have yet to decide whether to hear the case.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE announced in September that he would rescind the program, which temporarily shields immigrants brought to the country as children illegally — known as "Dreamers" — from deportation. 

But Trump gave lawmakers until March 5 to pass legislation enshrining the program's protections into law. Lawmakers have scrambled in recent weeks to reach a deal on DACA before the deadline.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) celebrated Tuesday's injunction as a victory for the more than 42,000 DACA recipients living in the state.

“Federal courts from coast to coast have now reviewed the record and reached the same conclusion: President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA was illegal," Schneiderman said in a statement.

"Today’s ruling reflects not only the illegality of the Trump Administration’s move to rescind DACA, but also the clear and demonstrable benefits DACA provides to New Yorkers across our great state."

The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment.

This story was updated at 5:20 p.m.