- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A federal judge’s shock ruling ordering President Trump to reinstate the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty shook the immigration debate Wednesday, erasing the Jan. 19 deadline Democrats had insisted on for action — though all sides said they still want to get a deal done soon.

The White House, immigrant-rights activists and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill said they still see a sense of urgency on the issue, and said only Congress can guarantee a firm legal footing for “Dreamers,” embracing the argument Mr. Trump himself made when he canceled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in September.

“A court case, of course, is no guarantee of lasting security,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup issued a ruling late Tuesday finding that the DACA program was legal — the first time a court has reached that conclusion — and saying the Trump administration cut too many corners in announcing its September phaseout of the program.

Judge Alsup ordered the Homeland Security Department to begin issuing new DACA renewals to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants poised to lose their status over the next two years under Mr. Trump’s phaseout.

Homeland Security officials didn’t have any details early Wednesday on how they plan to kick-start the DACA process.

The White House and Justice Department, meanwhile, questioned the California judge’s ruling, which flies in the face of an appeals court ruling in a similar care on a broader Obama amnesty. In that case, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the DAPA program, which would have applied to more than 4 million illegal immigrants, was illegal, based chiefly on the operations of DACA.

One constitutional law expert called the ruling “surreal.”

Even Mr. Schumer seemed prepared for a higher court to overturn Judge Alsup.

“The fact remains — the only way to guarantee the legal status for Dreamers is to pass DACA protections into law, and to do it now,” he said.

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