A federal judge in Brooklyn on Tuesday blasted the Trump administration's decision not to extend the Oct. 5 deadline for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as "heartless" and "unacceptable."
At a hearing earlier this month for challenges to the decision, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis had urged the administration to allow for an extension so that so-called Dreamers had more time to renew their status.
But the administration was apparently unmoved.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department Brett Shumate told Garaufis, "The Department of Homeland Security has ultimately decided to maintain the deadlines."
Expressing shock, Garaufis said in court, "I've worked in every branch of government ... and I've never seen a circumstance like this."
"The president has said he will find a solution for all of these 'wonderful' people," Garaufis said. "What I want to know is, what's the hurry?"
The impact goes beyond the 800,000 Dreamers themselves, he said. "There are families. There are children. They have jobs. They're teachers. They work in industry, and they're making this country strong."
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"You can't come into court to espouse a position that is heartless," he said. "It's unacceptable to me as a human being and as a person. I'm glad I was born in Paterson, New Jersey and not Mexico City."
The National Immigration Law Center, which is fighting the administration's decision on DACA, tweeted this image outside the courthouse:
— Nat'l Imm Law Center (@NILC_org) September 26, 2017
Advocacy group Make the Road New York also tweeted out many of Garaufis' comments and concluded that the judge is "skeptical of all govt. arguments" and "shows deep empathy 4 immigrant youth."
Conclusion: #DACA case proceeds. Judge skeptical of all govt arguments; shows deep empathy 4 immigrant youth. Full discovery proceeds. /END
— MaketheRoadNewYork (@MaketheRoadNY) September 26, 2017