The Trump administration's decision to phase out a program protecting some young immigrants can be open to judicial review, a federal judge in New York ruled Thursday.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis allows two lawsuits against the new policy to stay alive pending an appeal.
Last month, a federal appeals court in Manhattan directed the lower court to decide whether judges can review the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
Activists are suing the government in New York, California, the District of Columbia and Maryland. DACA has protected about 800,000 people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families that overstayed visas.
Garaufis found that the government's "argument that the decision to rescind the DACA program is unreviewable ... is unpersuasive." The judge also rejected claims by Department of Justice lawyers that the decision constitutes "an exercise of enforcement discretion" that is immune from judicial review.
In arguments before the appeals court last month, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Hashim M. Mooppan accused lawyers fighting the government of engaging in a "massive fishing expedition" for documents and testimony to use to improperly disclose details of decision-making at the highest levels of federal government.