This Saturday, a federal judge ruled that Trump's "acting" head of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf assumed his position unlawfully, and therefore invalidated his suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, otherwise known as DACA.
Trump has been skirting Congressional oversight of his unqualified appointments for years now. Looks like one of them finally came back to bite him in the hind side just before we're finally rid of him and the rest of his criminal accomplices.
A federal judge in the Eastern District of New York ruled on Saturday that Chad Wolf was “not lawfully serving” as the Acting Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security when he issued a memorandum in July that effectively suspended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program pending a departmental review. The judge invalidated Wolf’s controversial DACA directives and also granted certification for program recipients adversely affected by Wolf’s directive to file a class action lawsuit. Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling this summer, which prevented the Trump administration from unilaterally rescinding the program, Wolf, purportedly in his capacity as Acting Secretary, issued a July 28 memo directing DHS personnel to: reject all pending and future initial program requests, reject all requests for recipients to leave and re-enter the country, and require annual renewal instead of once every two years.
On Aug. 14, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO)—Congress’s investigative arm—issued a non-binding legal opinion concluding that Wolf was not the correct official in the line of succession at DHS to assume the role.
Acting quickly, the plaintiffs in the initial DACA case filed documents later in August month asking the court to direct DHS to fully reinstate DACA, alleging that Wolf had unlawfully assumed the role of Acting Secretary and therefore did not have the authority to issue directives mandating substantive changes to the program’s operations.
In a 31-page memorandum and order, U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis held that when former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned from the role, her replacement, Kevin McAleenan, was not authorized to take her place. Because McAleenan never possessed the statutory authority of the Acting Secretary, his eventual delegation of the role to Wolf was “not an authorized agency action.”
“DHS failed to follow the order of succession as it was lawfully designated. Therefore, 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,” Garaufis wrote. “Accordingly, Mr. Wolf did not possess statutory authority when he assumed the role of Acting Secretary in November 2019.”
Because Wolf lacked the authority to takeover as Acting Secretary of DHS, there is no legal basis for enforcing his directive regarding the DACA program.
I look forward to the day when we don't have white supremacists and people who don't believe in the rule of law making our immigration policies. That day can't come soon enough.