This stalled handoff from the outgoing Trump administration to the incoming Biden administration has made life even more uncertain, if that is possible, for Daca recipients, called Dreamers.
As an Obama immigration initiative, it was targeted for removal throughout the Trump administration. One of the chief architects of that removal has been Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Trump frequently appointed people as “acting” to speed their way into jobs and to make it easier for him to later remove them, as he has often done.
Wolf issued an order in the summer suspending the program, pending review by the department. However, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufisa in New York City has ruled that the “acting” end-run violates orders of succession and promotion. The judge wrote, “the actions taken by purported acting secretaries, who were not properly in their roles according to the lawful order of succession, were taken without legal authority.” He has written that Wolf’s suspension order is null.
Daca advocates are calling this a win for them, but note that the game is not over. It’s another twist on the roller coaster they have been riding for several years.