A third federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to restart a program that shields young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” from deportation and, in a first, to accept new applicants to the program.
Writing that the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program was “virtually unexplained”, the US district judge John Bates said on Tuesday he would stay the order for 90 days to allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) an opportunity to “better explain” its decision.
“DACA’s rescission was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful,” Bates wrote in his 60-page ruling, released on Tuesday evening.
Two district court judges, in San Francisco and Brooklyn, previously ordered the Trump administration to spare Daca. Bates, however, went a step further and ordered that the administration accept new applications while litigation continues.
The first injunction came several weeks before 5 March, a deadline set by the Trump administration to end the program. In the countdown to that date, nearly 100 Daca recipients per day were losing their protected status. The rulings forced DHS to begin accepting renewal applications from recipients. But it did not have to accept new applications.
Bates is also the first Republican appointee to rule on the matter.
Bates rejected the administration’s argument that the action was necessary because of a threat by coalition of attorney generals from conservative states to sue the federal government if Trump didn’t dismantle the program.
“The agency’s prediction regarding the outcome of threatened litigation over DACA’s validity – specifically, that the district court in the Texas litigation would immediately halt the program, without any opportunity for a wind-down – was so implausible that it fails even under the deferential arbitrary and capricious standard. DACA’s rescission will therefore be set aside,” Bates wrote.
This is a story that should be on CNN. This is the real impact of the Trump administration on families in America. pic.twitter.com/20CvYK5BwC
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 24, 2018
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