Washington, April 25: A US judge has labelled as “unlawful” President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme protecting young illegal immigrants, and for the first time, ordered the government to reopen it to new applicants.
US District Judge John D. Bates on Tuesday called the government’s decision to end the DACA programme “virtually unexplained” and therefore “unlawful”. However, he stayed his ruling for 90 days to give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a chance to provide more solid reasoning for ending the programme, the Washington Post reported. “DACA’s rescission was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the programme was unlawful,” Bates said.
Bates is the third judge to rule against Trump administration attempts to rescind the DACA, which provides two-year, renewable work permits and deportation protections for about 690,000 “dreamers”, undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children.
After the White House announced its move to end the DACA in September, federal judges in California and New York blocked the administration’s plans and ordered it to renew work permits for immigrants enrolled in the programme.
Bates said “if the government does not come up with a better explanation within 90 days, he will rescind the government memo that terminated the programme and require Homeland Security to enrol new applicants, as well”. Thousands could be eligible to apply.
In response to the ruling, the Justice Department said it stands by its original reasoning, calling the DACA an “unlawful circumvention of Congress”, and that it intends to continue making its case to the courts.
The cases were brought by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACA), Microsoft, Princeton University and a student. (IANS)