U.S. District Judge John Bates in the District of Columbia ordered the government to restart DACA in full, saying that the government had not given “a rational explanation for its decision” to end it.
Bates had ruled in April that the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA was “arbitrary and capricious” and gave the government 90 days “to better explain its view that DACA is unlawful.”
He said in Friday’s ruling, after the 90 days, that neither a memo from Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen nor another government motion in the case provided “a sufficient basis for reconsidering the Court’s earlier determination.”
“The Court simply holds that if DHS wishes to rescind the program… it must give a rational explanation for its decision,” the judge wrote in his conclusion, saying that the government’s “hodgepodge of illogical or post hoc policy assertions... simply will not do.”
He repeated that “DACA’s rescission was unlawful and must be set aside.”
The judge put his decision on hold until Aug. 23 to give the government a chance to appeal.
But the ultimate fate of DACA is still uncertain.
There is also a hearing next week on a DACA case in which Texas and other states sued to end the program. If they win, there could potentially be conflicting court orders.
Since President Donald Trump’s September 2017 decision to cancel the Obama-era DACA program ― which provided protections for certain undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children ― federal judges in three separate courts, including Bates’, have ruled against the administration’s decision. The other cases, in California and New York, are ongoing.
While Trump’s decision to cancel DACA had already been stalled by a nationwide injunction, the rulings only required the government to renew applications for those who had already been approved for the program.
Bates’ latest decision ― if it goes into effect at the end of the month ― would mean that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would have to start accepting new DACA applications, Politico reported.