Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A federal district judge in New York on Tuesday became the second to block President Donald Trump's effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled the Trump administration has not offered legally adequate reasons to end the program which protects hundreds of thousands of children of undocumented immigrants from deportation.
"First, the decision to end the DACA program appears to rest exclusively on a legal conclusion that the program was unconstitutional and violated the [Administrative Procedure Act] and [Immigration and Nationality Act]," Garaufis wrote. "Because that conclusion was erroneous, the decision to end the DACA program cannot stand."
Garaufis' ruling comes after California U.S. District Judge William Alsup blocked the plan to let DACA expire in January, saying the reasoning to end the program was based on a misinterpretation of the law.
Both rulings ordered the government to keep processing DACA renewal requests.
Garaufis noted his ruling doesn't mean that any DACA applicant must be automatically granted an extension and doesn't prohibit the United States from revoking the deferred deportation status of individual DACA recipients.
Trump gave Congress a deadline of March 5 to come up with a policy on the program and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the Trump administration's appeal of Alsup's ruling at its conference on Friday.
The rulings by Garaufis and Alsup may allow the program to extend past the March 5 deadline.
The house passed a budget deal that was ultimately signed by Trump to end last week's brief government shutdown without addressing the DACA program, despite Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi's record-breaking speech urging party members to reject the bill in defense of the Obama-era program.