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USA federal judge says DACA must resume after 90 days

26 April, 2018, 00:43 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Trump administration must accept new DACA applicants federal judge rules

Now three federal judges have handed down decisions saying as much.

Judge Bates gave the justice department 90 days to try and prove that the DACA program is unlawful.

"Because DHS failed to even acknowledge how heavily DACA beneficiaries had come to rely on the expectation that they would be able to renew their DACA benefits, its barebones legal interpretation was doubly insufficient and can not support DACA's rescission", Bates wrote.

While Judge Bates did not say that Trump lacks the authority to rescind DACA (a 2012 executive order signed by Barack Obama), he blocked Trump's move on the dubious grounds that he considers it "arbitrary and capricious". 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". "The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend this position, and looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation", spokesman Devin O'Malley said. Bates is also the first Republican judge to defy Trump's proposal. "For these reasons, DACA's rescission was unlawful and must be set aside". A major requirement for DACA eligibility is that the applicant be at least 15-years-old when they apply and according to the Center for American Progress, an estimated 23,000 young people turned 15-years-old after the Trump administration ended the program on September 5, 2017.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals provides renewable work permits and deportation protections for about 690,000 dreamers and has protected about 100,000 more, according to the Pew Research Center.

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They had to pass an Federal Bureau of Investigation background check, have a clean criminal background and either be in school, have recently graduated or have been honourably discharged from the military. A federal appeals court also questioned the validity of the program when President Obama tried to expand DACA in 2014. The Trump White House chose to gradually phase out the constitutionally questionable program, effectively rescinding an executive order issued by former President Obama.

The move follows similar decisions from judges in NY and San Francisco.

The Justice Department had sought to short-circuit those appeals and asked the Supreme Court to take the case directly, but the justices in February refused, leaving the case back in the hands of the circuit courts. He continued with his strong stand on the issue and his administration started deporting undocumented immigrants from the US.

Although renewals are still accepted, immigrant rights groups have cautioned that applicants who have pending renewals run the risk of getting caught in what they've called the administration's ramped-up deportation machine.

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