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Donald Trump administration says it won’t budge on Dreamers’ deadline

LiveMint logoLiveMint 27-09-2017 Patricia Hurtado

Manhattan: The Trump administration says it won’t budge on a 5 October deadline for children who were brought to the US by undocumented immigrants to renew their permits to work legally in the US, prompting a judge to label the government’s stance “unacceptable.”

US district judge Nicholas Garaufis asked the Justice Department on 14 September to extend the deadline while he considers a challenge from a Queens student who was brought to the US from Mexico at the age of six and is fighting the rescission of his work permit in 2015 and a separate suit by states fighting the planned termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—or DACA—programme.

“The Department of Homeland Security has ultimately decided to maintain the deadlines,” Brett Shumate, a lawyer with Justice Department said at a hearing Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. “The decision was not made lightly.”

Garaufis wasn’t pleased with the response, saying that in addition to 800,000 so-called Dreamers who face deportation there are “literally millions of people” that will be harmed if the deadline isn’t extended.

“There are families. There are children. They have jobs. They’re teachers. They work in industry and they’re making this country strong,” Garaufis said. “You can’t come into court to espouse a position that is heartless.”

Attorney general Jeff Sessions announced 5 September the administration had decided to end the Obama-era programme that protects the Dreamers from deportation and allows them work legally in the US. The programme is set to formally end on 5 March.

Trump had indicated new legislation might save the programme, and he worked with Democrats on a possible new bill.

“Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!” the president wrote on Twitter.

Garaufis, who is also overseeing a lawsuit brought by 16 states, including New York, challenging the termination of the Dreamers’ programme, said he would speed up the hearing schedule for both cases. He set a hearing for 18 January, when he’ll consider whether to throw out the lawsuits or rule in favor of the plaintiffs without a trial.

“What I’m going to do is take this out of the political realm and put it in the judicial realm,” the judge said at Tuesday’s hearing. Bloomberg

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