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U.S. District Court Judge enjoins DACA recision

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

U.S. District Court Judge William F. Alsup ordered the administration to resume accepting renewal applications for DACA under the same terms and conditions that were in effect before Trump administration officials announced last September that they would wind down the program.  This effectively blocks President Donald Trump from ending an Obama-era program that protected young people who were brought to America illegally as children by their parents.


The ruling came hours after Trump presided over a high-profile White House meeting with lawmakers from both parties on the fate of so-called Dreamers. 


Judge Alsup issued his 49-page ruling ordering the administration to reinstate the DACA program.  The government is "[h]ereby ordered and enjoined, pending final judgment herein or other order, to maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis."


The ruling appears to effectively extend the program for six moths when the case is scheduled to conclude.  If the court rules against the government, it could further extend the program though the government will surely appeal.


The importance of this case among all the immigration cases litigated in the past year is that it gives credence to claims that the president's rescission of the DACA program was an "arbitrary and capricious" act.  This term, generally reserved for administrative rulings, indicates that there is no recognized legal theory that supports the termination of the program. The term implies bad faith as the primary motivating factor for the president's action.

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