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A federal judge ripped into the Trump administrations handling of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program calling it a “sad and inappropriate use of executive authority,” during a hearing on Wednesday, CNN reported.
Over the weekend, Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled to restore the program’s operations to almost in their entirety, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Since 2017, President Donald Trump has repeatedly petitioned to end or limit the program that protects 700,000 young unauthorized immigrants from deportation.
Lower courts have previously ruled to keep the program intact and in June, The Supreme Court also ruled against ending the program.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Garaufis said: “I just want you to understand that I believe that we should have a process, a legal process here, as everywhere else, but sadly, what we’re doing is impacting the lives of many, many people, who are buoyed by the Supreme Court decision in June and have been undermined by the conduct of the Department of Homeland Security since then, as I set forth in my decision.”
DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson from the DHS said the department was “exploring its options to ensure its review of DACA continues as intended.”
The weekend’s ruling was in relation to acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf issuing a memo in July that narrowed the program to existing applicants and only allowed for renewal for a year instead of two.
The “fact remains that Congress should act on this matter,” Wolf said in July. “There are important policy reasons that may warrant the full rescission of the DACA policy.”
A Government Accountability Office report previously found that both Wolf and his predecessor were improperly appointed to their positions. The Journal also reported that Garaufis’s is the fifth ruling that says Wolf wasn’t properly appointed to his acting position and was unlawfully serving in his role.