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Government begins processing DACA renewals again

By Danielle Haynes
Government begins processing DACA renewals again
The Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (C) said it was again processing DACA renewal applications upon an order from a district judge. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Undocumented immigrants can resume applications for protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program after a federal judge last week blocked the Trump administration's plan to let DACA expire, immigration officials said.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Saturday it would resume processing the applications, though not for people who have never before been granted protection under the program.

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On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said the Trump administration must continue to accept DACA renewal applications, despite President Donald Trump's decision on Sept. 5 to end new and renewal applications, and let the program expire March 5.

A memo from then-acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said the agency lacked the authority to implement DACA because it was an executive order from former President Barack Obama.

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Alsup said that reasoning was flawed because the agency and administration do have the authority to implement the program, which allows children brought to the country as undocumented immigrations stay and work legally for two-year intervals.

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Trump and bipartisan members of Congress met Tuesday in an attempt to strike a deal to continue DACA while also funding a wall along the Mexican border.

"As I made very clear today, our country needs the security of the Wall on the Southern Border, which must be part of any DACA approval," Trump tweeted at the conclusion of the meeting.

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On Sunday, he expressed doubts over being able to agree on a deal.

"DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don't really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military," Trump tweeted.

The lawsuit against the administration over its plans to let DACA expire was brought against the Trump administration by the Regents of the University of California system and its president, Janet Napolitano. Napolitano served as secretary of DHS under Obama from 2009-13.

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Ray Downs contributed to this report.

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