Published: Wed, April 25, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Choose offers Trump administration 90 days to clarify transfer to finish DACA

Choose offers Trump administration 90 days to clarify transfer to finish DACA

Writing that the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program was "virtually unexplained", the United States district judge John Bates said on Tuesday he would stay the order for 90 days to allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) an opportunity to "better explain" its decision. He went back and forth over the future of DACA during his first months in office but made his decision in September: He announced that the program would end, but not until March 5, giving Congress six months to find a solution. Bates' ruling, if it remains in place after 90 days, now forces the government to again accept new applications.

Judge Bates said the government's reasoning for revoking DACA wasn't convincing enough, and so it amounted to an "arbitrary and capricious" decision, which makes it illegal under the Administrative Procedures Act.

Bates ordered the administration to continue DACA, which gives protections to undocumented immigrants brought to the children.

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He wrote the decision to rescind the policy was based on a "legal judgment that the program was unlawful". "That legal judgment was virtually unexplained, however, and so it can not support the agency's decision", he wrote in his 60-page ruling.

However, in February, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the administration's appeal of the San Francisco ruling.

But 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 now protected.

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"Any of these flaws would support invalidating the DACA rescission as arbitrary and capricious", Garaufis ruled. A federal appeals court also questioned the validity of the program when President Obama tried to expand DACA in 2014.

He did grant the administration one victory by refusing to order U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the government agency that handles DACA applications, not to share data on recipients with deportation officers.

Ali Noorani, with the National Immigration Forum, told The New York Times that "this decision verifies the Trump administration failed to prove the DACA program is illegal".

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