Trump’s plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, or to link its continued existence to the building of his often-mocked wall, went up in smoke with a federal court ruling out of San Francisco on Tuesday night.
District Court Judge William Alsup ordered the Trump administration to resume accepting renewal requests from current DACA recipients (called “Dreamers”). Alsup’s ruling found that the administration’s argument that the DACA program was illegal was based on a flawed premise.
The administration can still refuse to accept new DACA applications, however.
This comes hours after Trump had a nearly hour-long meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers whom he called on to pass “a bill of love” to solidify the program’s place in law. Trump’s desire to resolve the issue in Congress, however, often comes paired with his demand for a wall to be built on the US-Mexico border.
“We all want DACA to happen, but we also want great security for our country,” Trump said Saturday.
Trump has long held that any agreement on Dreamers should be paired with the funding to build his border wall, which has faced skepticism from Capitol Hill and looms as a potential cause for a federal government shutdown.
Still, President Trump remains obsessed with the idea of the wall. He has been willing to make deals that would anger his conservative base, telling senators that he would take the blame from the base if they were dissatisfied with the deal he wanted struck.
While 73 percent of Americans support a path to citizenship for Dreamers — who were brought to America as children — a majority are opposed to the border wall. And as Trump attempted to tie the fates of these two policies together, Dreamers suffered.
According to the New Mexico Dream Team, a Dreamer advocacy group, 120 people lose DACA protections every day following the program being rescinded in September. Those Dreamers are now able to file renewal requests and reaffirm their legal status under DACA.
Tuesday’s ruling throws even more fuel on the flames of public opinion that burn down the border wall concept while protecting thousands of people whose livelihoods were in question.
Katelyn Kivel is a journalist and political scientist in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.