August 03, 2018

A D.C. federal judge doubled down on his finding that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security failed to rationalize its decision to roll back the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, saying Friday the agency's "hodgepodge of illogical" assertions, outlined in a June memo, "simply will not do."

The ruling came in response to a June 22, three-page memo signed by DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, issued to comply with an April order from U.S. District Judge John D. Bates that gave the department 90 days to clarify its reasoning for rescinding DACA, or else the program would continue.

According to Judge Bates' ruling Friday, the memo gave "almost no meaningful elaboration" as to why DACA was unlawful, giving him no reason to change his previous holding that the government must restore the program, which offers renewable two-year grants of deportation protection to undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.

"The court did not hold in its prior opinion, and it does not hold today, that DHS lacks the statutory or constitutional authority to rescind the DACA program," he said. "Rather, the court simply holds that if DHS wishes to rescind the program — or to take any other action, for that matter — it must give a rational explanation for its decision."

"A conclusory assertion that a prior policy is illegal, accompanied by a hodgepodge of illogical or post hoc policy assertions, simply will not do," he added.

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 The NAACP, the American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO and the United Food and Commercial International Union AFL-CIO are represented by Joseph M. Sellers, Julie Selesnick, Douglas McNamara and Julia Horwitz of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

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