Judge Orders Trump Administration To Restore DACA Program

The Trump administration announced plans to end DACA last year.
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A District of Columbia federal judge ordered the Trump administration to resume the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Friday, according to Politico.

The decision was made by U.S. District Judge John Bates. The program will not restart until August 23, which gives the administration time to appeal.

According to the decision, the administration did not adequately explain why they were ending DACA.

“For the reasons explained below, the government’s motion will be denied,” said the decision. “Although the Nielsen Memo purports to offer further explanation for DHS’ decision to rescind DACA, it fails to elaborate meaningfully on the agency’s primary rationale for its decision: the judgment that the policy was unlawful and unconstitutional.”

DACA is a program that was established under the Obama administration. It protected more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation. These immigrants were brought into the U.S. as children. DACA gave participants, sometimes referred to as “Dreamers,” two-year work permits.

To meet DACA requirements, participants had to be under age 16 when they entered the U.S., have no felony or significant misdemeanors on their records, and not pose a threat to national security.

The program did not change the legal immigration status of participants.

Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said that the department would take further action, including an appeal, according to CNN.

“The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend this position, and it looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation,” O’Malley said in a statement.

This ruling upholds a ruling that Bates made in April, also ordering the Trump administration to restart DACA.

Nielsen defended the Trump administration's decision to end DACA.
  Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen responded to the April ruling, stating that the agency had the right to end the program.

Judges in California and New York have ruled against ending DACA. Those rulings only ordered the government to renew applications for current program participants. Bates’ ruling goes further and orders the program to begin taking new applications as well.

Another DACA ruling is expected later this week from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, according to CNN. Texas and other states are suing the Justice Department to end DACA, stating that it is unconstitutional and a violation of federal law.

The Trump administration announced the decision to end DACA in September, 2017. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the formal announcement, saying DACA “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs,” according to NPR.