Judge rules against ending program to protect Dreamers

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Bates's ruling would require a full restart, meaning even illegal immigrant "Dreamers" who'd never been approved before would now be able to apply for DACA.

Bates is giving DHS 90 days to "better explain its view" that DACA is unlawful.

U.S. Federal Judge John D. Bates rules against canceling DACA. "That legal judgment was virtually unexplained, however, and so it can not support the agency's decision", he wrote in his 60-page ruling.

In his 60-page opinion, Bates wrote, "DACA's rescission was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful".

Given the multitude of suits concerning the exact issues in these cases, one or more of them will likely eventually find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which may render some or all of Tuesday's ruling irrelevant.

"The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend this position and looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation", the statement said.

DACA was created by then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in 2012.

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DACA allowed immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children, known as Dreamers, to stay and work legally under renewable permits.

It also provided work and study permits for those it covered. Two nationwide injunctions earlier this year applied only to renewal requests. Now three federal judges have handed down decisions saying as much.

"While the decision does not fully resolve the uncertainty facing DACA beneficiaries, it unequivocally rejects the rationale the government has offered for ending the program and makes clear that the (Department of Homeland Security) acted arbitrarily and capriciously", he said.

Activists called the decision cruel, and launched a multitude of lawsuits, sparking a feverish battle in the federal courts, which have produced widely varying decisions. Judge Titus's District of Maryland ruling upholding the end of DACA had granted plaintiffs this. But two other judges in California and NY had previously ruled it illegal. After that, he says, DHS "must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications".

As of the most recent numbers through March 31, 693,850 people were protected by DACA. Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber said he was "delighted".

The Trump administration said it is reviewing the decision. "By providing a modified justification, this can save the case on appeal", said Mr. Blackman, a professor at South Texas College of Law.

While the previous decisions came from judges appointed by President Bill Clinton, Bates was nominated by President George W. Bush. United States, No. 17-2325 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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