In the strongest language so far, a fourth federal judge has joined others in ruling against the Trump Administration’s effort to block Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
U.S. District Judge John Bates Wednesday vacated the Dept. of Homeland Security’s September 2017 decision to rescind the DACA program, but gave the administration 90 days to better explain its rescission of the program rules. Bates, in Washington, D.C., also rejected the government’s request to dismiss the case.
Judges in three other cases, in California, New York and Maryland, also issued injunctions related to the DACA program. All are on appeal.
The DACA program created for what the Obama Administration called “Dreamers,” gave legal protection against deportation to children brought to the US illegally, but who have never known another country. They gain the right to work and get an education. They cannot have criminal convictions in order to retain DACA status. They are not legal citizens.
Bates was critical of the administration’s justification for ending DACA, which was based on a threat from Texas to challenge DACA in court. He called the decision by the administration “particularly egregious” given that more than 100,000 DACA recipients had been brought to the US as young children, structured their education, jobs and other life activities on the DACA benefits for the past finve years.
The cancellation of the DACA program not only rejected new applicants but would also allow existing beneficiaries status to expire.
“The [Justice] Department’s analysis of DACA’s constitutionality was so barebones that the court cannot discern the path the agency followed,” Bates wrote.”
Bates ordered the government to resume accepting initial DACA applications and ordered the original DACA program restored in full.
Meanwhile, the DHS has 90 days to issue a new memo explaining more fully why it believes the DACA program lacks statutory and constitutional authority.
Case: NAACP v. Trump, No. 17-1907