Judge orders reopening of DACA, after 90-day delay

Judge orders reopening of DACA after 90-day delay

Judge orders reopening of DACA after 90-day delay

Federal District Judge John Bates ruled Tuesday that the Trump Administration could not explain what about the program was unlawful.

But it is the first time a federal judge has ruled that applications by individuals who did not previously receive protection under the scheme must be processed.

Judge Bates stayed his decision for 90 days to allow Homeland Security officials an opportunity to better explain why they believe the program is unlawful. "As the court noted, 'neither the meager legal reasoning nor the assessment of litigation risk provided by [the Department of Homeland Security]' is enough to support the government's decision to end the program".

Judge Bates was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley responded to Tuesday's ruling, defending the Trump administration's policy and claiming that DACA was unlawful to begin with.

Bates is the third judge to rule against the administration's plans to end DACA after federal judges in California and NY handed down similar decisions.

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Obama has slammed President Trump as "cruel" for rolling back his illegal executive order while failing to mention that he deported over 3 million illegal aliens during his tenure - more than any president in US history. 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.

In order to qualify for Daca, applicants under the age of 30 were required to submit personal information to the Department of Homeland Security, including addresses and phone numbers. It allows people who arrived in the USA before age 16, later attended school or served in the military, and had no serious criminal records to apply for renewable two-year reprieves from deportation, and for work permits. A federal appeals court also questioned the validity of the program when President Obama tried to expand DACA in 2014. The Supreme Court in February declined a Justice Department request for the high court to review a California district court's ruling against ending the program, effectively leaving it in place.

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

It was in September 2017 that Trump first announced that he was planning to phase out DACA.

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.

Judge Bates, in his ruling, also weighed in on terminology, saying he accepted complaints of those who consider the term "illegal" to be offensive, and he would instead adopt the terminology of immigrant-rights activists.

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