This story was updated Jan. 10 at 9:14 p.m.
A federal judge blocked President Donald Trump’s administration Tuesday from ending a program that deferred deportation for undocumented individuals brought to the United States as children.
Trump announced in September he is ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program enacted by former President Barack Obama in 2012 that has helped thousands of undocumented individuals procure the documentation necessary to get jobs, open bank accounts and obtain driver’s licenses in certain states.
The University of California and other groups, including the state of California, sued the Trump administration in September, arguing that ending the program violated DACA recipients’ constitutional rights. The UC and other plaintiffs filed a motion in November asking William Alsup, the federal judge reviewing their lawsuits, to keep DACA operational while their lawsuits are being reviewed.
Alsup, a judge in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, ruled that the Department of Homeland Security must process renewal applications from individuals who were previously covered by DACA while courts review lawsuits filed to protect the program.
Hiroshi Motomura, a UCLA immigration law professor, said Alsup made the ruling because lawsuits take time to be permanently resolved as courts need time to gather evidence and hear from witnesses. He added the federal government could appeal Alsup’s ruling to a higher court and get it overturned.
The UC, which has around 4,000 undocumented students, provides legal and counseling services to undocumented students and directs campus police officers not to work with federal agencies to enforce immigration law.
The UC released a statement Tuesday stating it is pleased with the court’s decision and that it plans to continue to lobby for congressional legislation to protect undocumented students.
“(The ruling) does not negate, nor lessen, the urgent need for permanent protection through a legislative solution,” the statement said.
Scott Kang, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student and DACA recipient, said he is unsure of his future because the ruling is temporary.
“The fact that they just take it away then give it back with the chance of its being taken away again … makes me sick to the core,” he said.
Contributing reports by Grace Morgan, Daily Bruin contributor.