Federal Judge Orders Trump Administration to Reinstate DACA Program


A USA federal judge has ruled that the Trump administration must fully restore a programme that protects from deportation some young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children, including accepting new applications for the programme.

Bates ruled in late April that the administration must restore the DACA program and accept new applications.

One of the reasons given by the Trump administration for ending the program is that DACA was created by executive order during the Obama years and can be ended in similar fashion.

The decision comes less than a week before a hearing in a related case in Texas. On Friday, the judge said he would not revise his previous ruling, adding that his concerns were not overridden by arguments of the federal government.

U.S. District Judge John Bates said his decision to order the Obama-era policy be upheld is predicated on the Department of Homeland Security's so-called failure to defend the merits of nullifying the program.

Previous court rulings in California and NY have already prevented the administration from ending DACA, but they only ordered the government to continue renewing existing applications.

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Indeed, that corner-cutting has become a major hindrance for Mr. Trump, who has seen judges use the same grounds to question much of his immigration policy, environmental regulation rollbacks and Obamacare decisions. Those rulings only required the government to process DACA renewals, not new applications.

He said the government needs to prove that it has considered the benefits to society of having illegal immigrants here and working, versus the government's interest in enforcing the laws as written.

In April, Bates also ruled against the Trump administration's move to end the program but gave the government 90 days to better explains its rationale. Even so, I can't help but think of Gulliver and his good master when reading Judge Bates's opinions in this case.

"Although the Nielsen Memo purports to offer further explanation for DHS's decision to rescind DACA, it fails to elaborate meaningfully on the agency's primary rationale for its decision", he wrote.

The government now has 20 days to appeal.

"This represents a powerful victory against attempts to dehumanize immigrants who are law-abiding and productive residents of the United States and who were long ago brought to this country as children through no fault of their own", NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said.