A second US judge on Tuesday blocked an order by President Donald Trump to end a program protecting from deportation migrants who had been brought illegally to the country as children.
The decision comes after a federal judge in San Francisco in January ruled against repealing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
In September, Trump said he was scrapping the DACA program but delayed enforcement to give Congress six months — until March — to craft a lasting solution for the program recipients, informally known as “Dreamers.”
Some 690,000 Dreamers registered under the DACA program, and 1.1 million others were eligible but did not sign up.
The two court rulings allow for DACA to temporarily remain in force, allowing program recipients to submit renewal applications.
On Friday, the Supreme Court will consider whether to take on the issue. If the high court accepts the case, a decision is unlikely until late spring.
US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in New York ruled that Trump’s decision to end the Obama-era program was based in part on the “plainly incorrect factual premise” that it was illegal.
New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who leads a coalition of 17 attorneys general who sued to protect DACA and Dreamers, hailed Garaufis’s decision as a “victory.”
“Today’s ruling reflects… the illegality of the Trump administration’s move to rescind DACA… (a) critical program that benefits states across the country,” Schneiderman added.
US lawmakers are currently sparring over the hot-button issue.
Last month, Trump introduced a proposal that would put all 1.8 million young immigrants in question on a pathway to citizenship, in exchange for stiff cutbacks on overall immigration and funding for a massive wall on the US border with Mexico.