Judge Rules Trump Administration Must Restore DACA Program In Full

Judge Rules Trump Administration Must Restore DACA Program In Full

Judge Rules Trump Administration Must Restore DACA Program In Full

U.S. District Court Judge John Bates said on Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security's legal explanation for the termination of the program was arbitrary, capricious and unpersuasive.

"DACA's rescission was arbitrary and capricious as a result of the Division failed adequately to clarify its conclusion that this system was illegal", Bates wrote.

But while the DHS has been processing renewal applications under those rulings, as the appeals make their way through the courts, Tuesday's ruling was the first to order the program to resume accepting new applications - potentially opening the program to tens of thousands more immigrants than the roughly 700,000 now protected.

Bates is giving DHS 90 days to "better explain its view" that DACA is unlawful.

Bates is the third federal judge to bar the Trump administration from rescinding the program, following suit of federal judges in San Francisco and NY.

"We are pleased and gratified. but we're not out of the woods yet", said Bradford Berry, general counsel for the NAACP, a plaintiff in one of the two lawsuits that triggered the ruling.

"While the decision does not fully resolve the uncertainty facing DACA beneficiaries, it unequivocally rejects the rationale the government has offered for ending the program and makes clear that the DHS acted arbitrarily and capriciously".

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The Trump administration said it is reviewing the decision. About 700,000 unauthorized immigrants, the majority of them brought to the United States as children, had signed up for the Obama-era program since it was created in 2012.

In response to the ruling, the Justice Department said in a statement that it plans to continue to "vigorously" defend its position that DACA is unlawful.

A federal judge in Maryland recently ruled in favor of the government in a different DACA case.

"We are delighted that the court agreed with us that the government's termination of the DACA program 'was unlawful and must be set aside, '" Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber said Tuesday evening.

Advocates hailed the ruling, saying it highlighted the failure of the administration to justify terminating the program. Participants must renew their status every two years.

The program has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, allowing them to get driver's licenses, qualify for in-state tuition, buy homes, and attend college and graduate school.

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