US Must Keep DACA, Judge Rules

The Trump administration has faced its biggest setback so far in its attempts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects many young undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation, with a federal judge ruling on Tuesday that the protections will need to remain and that new decisions should begin to be accepted by the federal government.

The Federal District Court’s Judge John D Bates in the District of Columbia ruled that the reason for the decision to terminate the deferred action program, that it was “unlawful”, had been left virtually unexplained. However, the decision has been stayed for 90 days, with the Judge giving that time for the Department of Homeland Security to provide stronger reasoning for the cancellation.

If this is not done by the DHS, then it will not only have to renew previous DACA applications but also accept new ones, Judge Bates ruled. The ruling marks the third occasion in recent times against the rollback of the deferred action program by the Trump administration, with federal judges in both San Francisco and Brooklyn issuing injunctions ordering for the program to stay in operation, although they had not required new applications to be processed by the government.

Bates called the decision to end the program “arbitrary and capricious” and that the Department’s conclusion of the program’s illegality had not been adequately explained. Around 700,000 “Dreamers” are in the deferred action program, which was established in 2012 by the Obama administration.