A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that prevents deportation of some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children. In a 25-page decision, Judge John D. Bates of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia harshly criticized the administration for failing to justify the need to end the Obama-era program.
By ordering a full restoration within 20 days, Bates also says the United States must also start accepting new applications to enter into the program. But his decision could run head-on with one that a federal judge in Texas is expected to issue shortly. In that case, the judge is expected to rule on the side of states that are trying to end DACA as a whole.
Friday’s decision marks the second time Bates has ordered the restoration of the DACA program. He had ruled the same way in April but gave the Department of Homeland Security 90 days to explain why it needed to end it. Bates, however, said that ending the program was “arbitrary and capricious” and said that the explanation for the decision didn’t really justify the need for such drastic action. On Friday evening, the Department of Justice made it clear that it will appeal the ruling.