By Dan McCue
A federal judge ruled Friday that the Trump administration must fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, after failing to provide justification for ending the program.
In his 25-page opinion, U.S. District Judge John Bates said he will delay the implementation of his ruling to afford the Trump administration 20 days “to determine whether it intends to appeal the Court’s decision and, if so, to seek a stay pending appeal.”
Bates concluded the administration’s September 2017 decision to rescind the DACA program “was both subject
to judicial review and arbitrary and capricious.
“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 reissuing its decision for bona fide policy reasons that would preclude judicial review — so it will not do so again. Consequently, the government’s motion to reconsider the
Court’s April 24, 2018 order will be denied,” he wrote.
In April Bates gave the Department of Homeland Security 90 days to “better explain its view that DACA is unlawful.” If the department cannot come up with a better explanation, he wrote, it “must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications.”
Bates stressed that the court does not believe the administration, through the DHS, lacks the statutory or constitutional authority to rescind the DACA program.
Instead, he said, if the administration wants to end the program, it must put forward “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,” Bates wrote.