FILE PHOTO: WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 06: Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf testifies during a hearing before Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building August 6, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on “Oversight of DHS Personnel Deployments to Recent Protests.” Alex Wong/Pool via REUTERS -/File Photo


A federal judge ruled Saturday that Chad Wolf was not legally serving as acting secretary of homeland security in July when he announced the suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The decision from Judge Nicholas Garaufis invalidated Wolf’s July memo, which opens the program for new applications. 

Wolf released the memo, which barred new DACA applicants as the program was reviewed, despite a Supreme Court ruling a month earlier that President Donald Trump failed to follow procedures when he tried to end the program. U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis handed down a similar ruling in September that Wolf had been appointed to his post illegally since his appointer, former Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, “lacked the authority” to appoint Wolf. 

DACA allows children brought to the U.S. illegally to receive a renewable two-year stay from deportation and become eligible for a work permit. Karen Tumlin, a lawyer in the case and director of the Los Angeles-based Justice Action Center, said, “This is really a hopeful day for a lot of young people across the country.” Tumlin noted that the ruling applies to over a million people, including recent applicants.

Trump officially nominated Wolf to the post in August. The Senate has yet to confirm Wolf, though the administration renewed a push to confirm Wolf before Inauguration Day. The Department of Homeland Security has had five secretaries – two confirmed and three acting – during Trump’s presidency.


Federal Judge Rules Acting Of DHS Unlawfully Appointed, DACA Suspension Invalid – Mitú – 11/16/2020
A federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally appointed a head of Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The announcement is a major win for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration wrongly tried shutting down the DACA program.

Federal Judge Rules Wolf’s DACA Memo Invalid – Newsmax – 11/14/2020
A federal judge has ruled that acting Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf has not been serving lawfully in his position and his suspension of protections of Dreamers, the migrants brought to the United States illegally as children, is illegal.  […] In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration had wrongly tried to shut down DACA protections, but still, on July 8, Wolf suspended DACA, pending further review of it. 

A federal judge rules acting DHS head’s DACA suspension was invalid – Vox – 11/15/2020
That judge, Nicholas Garaufis of the US District Court of the Eastern District of New York, found that Wolf’s memo suspending new applicants to the immigrant program was invalid because he was not lawfully appointed to his position, in a decision that reflects the limitations of President Donald Trump’s pattern of relying heavily on appointed acting officials unconfirmed by the Senate to enact policy. It also raises questions about whether he’ll be able to put in place enduring policies through current or new acting personnel in the final months of his presidency before President-elect Joe Biden takes over in January.

Federal judge undercuts latest Trump DACA gambit, rules DHS chief in his job illegally – The Washington Times – 11/14/2020
Mr. Wolf’s status has been the subject of a long-running legal saga. Judge Garaufis is the latest to weigh in, siding with the Government Accountability Office and some other courts in finding he’s not properly serving. Yet another court, however, has ruled that Mr. Wolf is secretary. The question stems from President Trump‘s difficulty in staffing the department.


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