In an ongoing court battle, a federal judge expressed compassion for undocumented immigrants after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declined to extend the October 5 deadline for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to renew their applications, according to published reports.
Speaking at the federal court hearing, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department Brett Shumate said that the DHS would not extend the deadline to renew DACA. And alarmingly, immigration advocates are reporting that many DACA recipients simply do not know that the Trump administration set an early deadline for renewals when they announced the programs rescission on Sept. 5.
“It’s unacceptable to me, quite frankly, as a human being and as an American. I’m just glad I was born in Patterson, New Jersey, and not Mexico City,” Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis said at the hearing, according to the Daily News. “You can’t come into court to espouse a position that is heartless.”
With approximately 42,000 DACA recipients throughout New York State, about 10,000 of them are right here on Long Island. The deadline applies for recipients whose DACA expires from Sept. 5, 2017 through March 5, 2018.
The hearing is part of a lawsuit, Battalla Vidal v. Duke, brought against the administration by advocacy organizations Make the Road New York, the National Immigration Law Center, the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School, and six DACA recipients. The suit aims to challenge the legality of the order to rescind DACA.
It is an amended version of an initial legal fight mounted by Martín Batalla Vidal, a Queens DACA recipient who sued the federal government in August 2016 for revoking his work permit.
By the end of the hearing, a schedule for discovery was set and the case will continue forward.
“We are arguing that the government can’t rescind this program without laying out a rationale, and that rationale can’t be a discriminatory one,” Make the Road Legal Director Amy Taylor told The Gothamist. “We believe they are doing this to harm Latinos and Mexicans.”
Victoria Roeck, a law student intern with the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School, which is part of the legal team on the case. She called the hearing a “big win” for the team.
Looking ahead, Roeck said, there’s a December deadline to file motions in the case, with the team planning to file a preliminary injunction to suspend the March 5, 2018 DACA deadline, with hearings to follow in January.
“We’re proceeding quickly with that so we can acquire the evidence we need from the government that shows that their decision to terminate DACA was based on inadequate reasons, legally erroneous conclusions, and anti-Latino animus,” Roeck told Long Island Wins.
The administration’s stark lack of compassion, coupled with the systematic pushing away of our nation’s hard-working, young immigrant population, points to an escalating war on DACA.