Federal judge rules DACA is a lawful program, US must accept new applications
According to reports from the New York Times, Judge John D. Bates of the Federal District Court for the District of Colombia called the Trump administration’s choice to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals one that was based on a “virtually unexplained” claim of unlawfulness.
Judge Bates placed a stay on his decision, giving the Department of Homeland Security, which is in charge of implementing DACA, 90 days to better explain why it has decided to do away with the program. If the department is unsuccessful at doing this, it is required to accept and process new and renewal DACA applications.
This ruling is the third setback standing in the way of the administration’s concerted efforts to eliminate DACA. Previously, federal judges in Brooklyn and San Francisco had issued injunctions which simply ordered the program to remain in place. Neither decision had required the administration to accept new applications for a deferred status.
In contrast, Bates ruled that the Trump administration’s plan is “arbitrary and capricious because the department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”
The United States “Justice Department” released a statement Tuesday night which says that it will “continue to vigorously defend” the legal justification for its choice to end the DACA program, and that it looks “forward to vindicating its position in further litigation.” It also states that the Department of Homeland Security “acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner… Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens.”
Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum is skeptical that this is the end of the Trump administration’s obsession with ending the Obama Era program, predicting to the New York Times, “Either President Trump finds another way to end the program, tossing hundreds of thousands of young people into deportation proceedings, or he works with Republicans and Democrats to find a legislative solution.”
This latest lawsuit against the Trump administration was brought by the NAACP, Princeton University and Microsoft. Princeton’s president Christopher L. Eisgruber also released a statement following the ruling saying, “Princeton higher education and our country benefit from the talent and aspirations that Dreamers being to our communities… We continue to urge Congress to find a permanent solution.”