Federal judge upholds DACA, calling White House decision to rescind it 'capricious'

San Francisco - Yet another federal court has prohibited the Trump administration from ending the Obama-era programme offering protection from deportation for hundreds of thousands of children of undocumented immigrants, this time setting a road map for the government to begin accepting new applications. Judge Bates' order would allow new enrollment and more people to apply for DACA. If that does not happen he will reinstate the DACA program.

"This is the biggest win thus far for Dreamers, for sure", said Macon Immigration Attorney Ashley Deadwyler-Heuman. The judge, ruling in favour of Princeton University and the NAACP, wrote yesterday that the administration's explanation was "particularly egregious" because it didn't mention that numerous hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries had obtained jobs and pursued education based on the assumption that they would be allowed to renew.

The ruling was the third in recent months against the Trump administration's rollback of Daca. "Nonetheless, there remains a "nontrivial likelihood" that the agency could justify DACA's rescission on remand".

The Trump administration officially rescinded Daca in March, but the previous court orders allowed the Dreamers to file their renewal applications as challenges to the Trump administration's move made it through the legal system.

"Fortunately, neither Supreme Court nor D.C. Circuit precedent compels such a result".

On top of that existing case patchwork, Tuesday's ruling adds a new wrinkle.

Judge Bates, in his ruling, also weighed in on terminology, saying he accepted complaints of those who consider the term "illegal" to be offensive, and he would instead adopt the terminology of immigrant-rights activists.

I can't help but think of Gulliver and his good master when reading Judge Bates's memorandum opinion, posted online in PDF here and embedded below via (Scribd).

The next steps only get more complicated.

But DACA recipients quickly became a political football, with the president linking the program to his plans for a controversial border wall and restrictions on legal immigration. But it's not guaranteed the courts will accept that argument.

"Athough the substantive flaws in DACA's rescission are curable in theory, the Department may face practical obstacles when attempting to remedy them", Bates wrote.

Natalia Lopez: It means they now have the possibility of being protected under DACA.

A spokesman for the Justice Department, quoted by Politico, said the administration will continue to defend its decision to end DACA.

"There's just no chance", Fresco said.

  • Eleanor Harrison