WASHINGTON — A U.S. District court judge ruled late Friday that the Trump administration must fully reinstate the Obama-era Deferred Action for Children Arrivals program because President Trump’s decision to end it was “was arbitrary and capricious” and the government’s legal justification was “inadequately explained.”
Judge John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia affirmed his earlier finding that the Department of Homeland Security failed to offer a reasonable argument for ending DACA, and that a more recent DHS memo rationalizing the decision to end deportation protections for the Dreamers “fails to elaborate meaningfully on the agency’s primary rationale for its decision: the judgment that the policy was unlawful and unconstitutional.”
“And while the memo offers several additional ‘policy’ grounds for DACA’s rescission,” Bates continued, ”most of these simply repackage legal arguments previously made.” Bates stayed his order for 20 days to give the government a chance to decide whether to appeal.
DACA offers protection from deportation to about 700,000 people living in the country illegally after having been brought here as children (some were smuggled in; some overstayed visas). Those eligible for protections must have arrived in the U.S. before age 16, been here continuously since June 15, 2007 and been physically within the U.S. on June 15, 2012.