Federal judge reverses Trump administration decision to end DACA

The US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Tuesday vacated [ruling, PDF] the Trump administration’s efforts to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [official materials] program, which protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children from deportation and provides them with renewable work permits.

Judge John D. Bates found that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) [official website] decision to rescind DACA protections “was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed
adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful,” and thus was a violation of DHS’s rule-making authority under the end the program [JURIST report].

If the order were to go into effect, DHS would be required to “accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications,” and thus the ruling is broader than earlier decisions halting the program issued by the Northern District of California and the Eastern District of New York [JURIST reports]. Notably, the DC court’s ruling conflicts with a decision rejecting a challenge [JURIST report] to DACA’s termination issued last month by a federal court in Maryland.

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