August 03, 2018

The Trump administration failed again to convince a federal judge that there’s a legitimate reason to rescind legal protections for hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and seek to avoid deportation.

U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington said Friday that a second attempt by the Department of Homeland Security to offer a "rational explanation" for the agency’s decision had fallen short. Bates had given Nielsen another shot after blocking the plan in April.

"The court has already once given DHS the opportunity to remedy these deficiencies -- either by providing a coherent explanation of its legal opinion or by re-issuing its decision for bona fide policy reasons that would preclude judicial review -- so it will not do so again," Bates said.

The plan to rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, has also been put on hold by courts in California and New York. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco is reviewing one such ruling after having heard oral arguments in May.

Bates gave the administration 20 days to decide whether it would appeal before he blocks the DACA rescission. The judge called the plan “virtually unexplained,” but said he wasn’t asserting that DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen didn’t have authority to rescind it.

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