Judge Orders Trump Administration to Accept New DACA Applications
By Heather Ham-Warren | April 27, 2018
On Tuesday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. ruled against President Trump’s decision to wind down the unlawful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In a shocking decision, the court determined that the administration must not only continue to allow the so-called “dreamers” to apply for renewal, but that it must also accept new applications.
U.S. District Judge John Bates called the government’s decision to end DACA “virtually unexplained” and therefore “unlawful.” However, he stayed the ruling for 90 days to give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the opportunity to provide additional reasoning for ending the program.
The Trump administration announced in September of last year that it would begin to wind down the DACA program—phasing it out over multiple years. DACA recipients with valid work permits set to expire by March 2018 were given the opportunity to reapply for additional two-year permits; however, legal challenges began almost immediately. Judge Bates is the third judge to rule against the administration’s decision in some capacity with two other federal judges previously ordering the administration to renew work permits for illegal aliens enrolled in the program. The Bates decision is obviously much more encompassing.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) previously reported that only 77% percent of DACA recipients eligible for renewal under the phase out guidelines submitted applications to remain in the program. However, under this new ruling, those statistics are irrelevant, as the entire DACA-eligible population may apply for amnesty despite ignoring the option the first time around.