Federal judge rules Trump administration must resume DACA, accept new applicants

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Federal District Judge John Bates ruled Tuesday that the Trump Administration could not explain what about the program was unlawful. Now three federal judges have handed down decisions saying as much.

A USA federal judge ruled that the administration of President Donald Trump must continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation. "As the court noted, 'neither the meager legal reasoning nor the assessment of litigation risk provided by [the Department of Homeland Security]' is enough to support the government's decision to end the program". Those two judges had ordered the administration to again begin processing renewals - but had refused to require a full restart that included brand new DACA applications.

Bates, appointed by President George W. Bush, called Trump's decision to rescind the program "arbitrary and capricious".

In a statement, Homeland Security Spokesman Devin O'Malley said, according to CNN, that the agency "acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner ... For these reasons, DACA's rescission was unlawful and must be set aside".

San Francisco and Brooklyn judges had already ruled the legal attempts to be invalid and required the administration to accept applications for two-year DACA renewals.

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Bates said the Department of Homeland Security's rationale that DACA was "unlawful" was "arbitrary and capricious". "Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens". She issued a memo ordering the government to grant "deferred action" to illegal immigrants brought to the U.S.as children who'd worked toward completing schooling. They must have no significant criminal record and be enrolled in high school or have a diploma or the equivalent.

For all the lawyers out there, feel free to chime in, but I thought the constitutionally shaky ground for DACA stemmed from the fact that the executive passed legislation.

The government is expected to appeal the decision, but in January, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a key case dealing with DACA, leaving the administration few options.

The Trump administration canceled DACA in September based on the opinion of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said the Obama-era program was unconstitutional. But while the earlier rulings barred the administration from ending DACA for current recipients, making them subject to deportation, Bates went a step further and said the government must allow others to apply.

The New York Times's Miriam Jordan gives an account of the ruling in "U.S".