Judge says lawsuit against Trump's DACA move can proceed

Judge says lawsuit against Trump's DACA move can proceed
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A federal judge on Thursday ruled that a lawsuit targeting President TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program can proceed, despite a push by the Trump administration to dismiss the suit.

U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled in New York that the lawsuit could move forward, but narrowed the scope of the legal action, Bloomberg News reported

He said the plaintiffs — which include New York State, the District of Columbia and 15 state attorneys general — could proceed with a claim that Trump's decision to rescind the Obama-era program was racially motivated and was intended to unlawfully target Latinos. 

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Garaufis, an appointee of former President Clinton, previously issued an injunction barring the Trump administration from moving forward with deportations of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, known as "Dreamers," who were offered protections under DACA.

The Trump administration argued, however, that the lawsuit — particularly the claim that the president's actions were racially motivated — should be thrown out, because there was no evidence to prove it.

The plaintiffs maintained that Trump's statements about Mexicans on the campaign trail and in the White House amount to proof that he acted with hostility toward minority groups.

"Although the use of racial slurs, epithets, or other racially charged language does not violate equal protection, it can be evidence that official action was motivated by unlawful discriminatory purposes," Garaufis wrote in his ruling, according to Bloomberg.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) quickly praised the ruling Thursday.

"We look forward to continuing our litigation to protect Dreamers, along with the businesses and institutions they contribute to every day in New York and across the country," he tweeted.

Trump moved in September to rescind DACA, but gave lawmakers six months to come up with a legislative fix that would extend legal protections to Dreamers. Congress, however, has so far floundered in those efforts.

Congressional inaction has fueled uncertainty for DACA recipients as the administration pushed to end the program by March 5, though court action has given them work and deportation protections for now.