by Victoria Spagnolo
On Saturday, U.S District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis ruled that the appointment of Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was unlawful, challenging his authority to limit the DACA program which prevents the deportation of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
About a month after the Supreme Court held that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had improperly terminated DACA, Wolf issued a memorandum in July that drastically scaled back the DACA program. It cut short the validity of DACA permits from two (2) years to one (1) year and ordered DHS to stop accepting new DACA applications.
Judge Garaufis held that “DHS failed to follow the order of succession as it was lawfully designated” and that Wolf’s appointment is an attempt by the Trump Administration to circumvent the courts and punish “dreamers” and bypass legal hurdles by seating its desired officials in top positions.
The decision follows a report by the Government Accountability Office, a bipartisan congressional watchdog, asserting that Wolf was improperly serving and ineligible under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA). A federal judge in Maryland has also ruled that Wolf’s appointment was unlawful.
DHS continues to maintain that Wolf’s appointment was legal even without Senate confirmation. With inauguration day in less than two (2) months, there is a renewed push to get Wolf confirmed as Homeland Security Secretary.