Judge Throws Cold Water on 'Dream Act' Suspension

Chad Wolf wasn't 'lawfully' in position when he suspended DACA, judge says
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2020 5:00 PM CST
Judge's Ruling Looks Like Big News for DACA
Acting Homeland Secretary Chad Wolf gives a speech in front of a new section of the border wall Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, in McAllen, Texas.   (Joel Martinez/The Monitor via AP)

Looks like DACA was wrongly suspended this summer because the acting Homeland Security chief didn't belong there—at least not in the eyes of the law, NBC News reports. Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled Saturday that Chad Wolf, acting Homeland Security secretary, "was not lawfully serving" in the role when he suspended the so-called "Dream Act" in July. The Obama-era program protects migrants brought illegally to the US as children. The Garaufis ruling means "the effort in the Wolf memo to gut the DACA program is overturned," said a lawyer involved in the case. "This is really a hopeful day for a lot of young people across the country."

Garaufis explained that when former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stepped down, she was replaced by Kevin McAleenan even though he wasn't authorized to do so, per Law & Crime. That means McAleenan's delegation of the position to Wolf was not "authorized" and Wolf's suspension of DACA "was not an exercise of legal authority," the judge said. Wolf made the move after the US Supreme Court blocked a Trump administration effort to terminate the program. CBS News reports that the ruling affects hundreds of thousands of people who can be shielded from deportation by DACA. CNN reports that the US government can appeal the ruling. (More DACA stories.)

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