Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Third judge rules in favor of DACA again but gives DHS 90 days to fight back

 

A third federal judge has overruled the Trump administration’s efforts to end DACA — this time saying the government has to accept new applications.

The ruling on DACA won’t take immediate effect, with the judge delaying the ruling for 90 days to allow the administration to make its case in a new memo justifying the end of the program. Similar to the other rulings, Judge John Bates concluded that the wind-down of the program was “arbitrary and capricious” because the Department of Homeland Security failed to “adequately explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”

A George W. Bush appointee to the US District Court for the District of Columbia, Bates delayed the implementation of his ruling “to allow the agency an opportunity to better explain its rescission” which was almost entirely based on a threat from Texas and a handful of other states to challenge DACA in court.

Bates called the move “particularly egregious” given the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients, young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children, protected under the program over its five years. Given how many people’s lives were built on the protections from DACA, Bates said, “its barebones legal interpretation was doubly insufficient.”

In response to the ruling, the Justice Department said it stands by its original reasoning, calling DACA an “unlawful circumvention of Congress,” and that it intends to continue making its case to the courts.

The DACA program has already been resumed after President Trump sought to end it in September, after two federal judges issued nationwide rulings to accept renewals of the two-year permits issued by the program and after the Supreme Court declined to circumvent the appeals process to overturn those decisions.

While the DHS has been processing renewal applications under those rulings, as the appeals make their way through the courts, Tuesday’s ruling was the first to order the program to resume accepting new applications — potentially opening the program to tens of thousands more immigrants than the roughly 700,000 currently protected.

CNN