Dec. 8 (UPI) — The Department of Homeland Security said Monday it has fully reinstated Obama-era protections from deportations for undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children after a judge last week ordered it to do so.
The department published an update on its website concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act, stating it was now accepting new applicants and extending both one-year grants and one-year employment authorization documents to two years.
The move follows U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis ordering the department late last week to post a public notice on its website stating it will again process applications for the program.
The department stopped taking DACA applications in the summer after the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s effort to cancel the initiative.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced in a memo July 28 that the department would reject all new and pending applicants as well as halve the renewable two-year work permit to one.
In November, Garaufis issued an opinion stating Wolf wasn’t legally serving in the position when he drew up the rules announced in the July memo.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., said Monday that Garaufis’ order to reinstate DACA stands as a clear signal to the Trump administration that “the United States will not abandon its Dreamers, who have proven time and time again to make outstanding contributions to our nation.”
Irving Hernandez, a DACA recipient since 2012 and a board member of the Alliance San Diego, which advocates to change marginalizing policies, said last week that allowing new people to apply under DACA will benefit communities but that the fight continues.
“We must and shall continue the fight for a pathway to citizenship,” Hernandez said in a statement. “That is the only long-lasting solution.”