April 24, 2018

A D.C. federal judge has delivered the toughest blow yet to Trump administration efforts to end deportation protections for young undocumented immigrants, ordering the government to continue the Obama-era program and — for the first time since announcing it would end — reopen it to new applicants.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates on Tuesday called the government’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program “virtually unexplained” and therefore “unlawful.” However, he stayed his ruling for 90 days to give the Department of Homeland Security a chance to provide more solid reasoning for ending the program.

Bates is the third judge to rule against Trump administration attempts to rescind DACA, which provides two-year, renewable work permits and deportation protections for about 690,000 “dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to this country as children.

In his decision, Bates said the decision to phase out the program starting in March “was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”

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