A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Trump administration to keep in place for now a program that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants who entered the country illegally when they were children.
In September, President Donald Trump ended the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and gave congress six months to find a legislative fix for the roughly 800,000 immigrants.
A U.S. District Court judge in the western state of California ruled in favor of a group of individuals and institutions, including the University of California, who sued the government seeking to block the end of DACA. The judge said the program should remain active until the legal challenges are resolved.
The injunction keeping DACA alive applies nationally, with the court saying the issue touches every U.S. state and territory.
Tuesday's order specifies that the terms of the DACA program are to be maintained for anyone who was already covered by the program before Trump's September action, and that those people are allowed to renew their enrollments.
But the government does not have to process any new applications for people trying to enroll under DACA for the first time, and remains free to deport anyone it determines to be a national security or public safety risk.
The court order came hours after Trump told key lawmakers he would sign whatever DACA legislation they agree on.