Federal judge rules continuation of DACA program

Gabriela Matinez 19 left holds a sign at a protest last month

U.S. District Judge John Bates, however, stayed his ruling for 90 days to allow the Department of Homeland Security a chance to provide a better legal argument for ending the program, The Washington Post reported.

The Trump administration moved to end DACA in March, after it announced past year it would be repealed after a six-month period.

But while the DHS has been processing renewal applications under those rulings, as the appeals make their way through the courts, Tuesday's ruling was the first to order the program to resume accepting new applications - potentially opening the program to tens of thousands more immigrants than the roughly 700,000 now protected.

Some 700,000 undocumented immigrants, a lot of them brought to the United States as children, had signed up for DACA introduced by the then Barack Obama government in 2012.

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The government had hoped to stop taking renewals by March 5 - the date the Trump gave in September to eliminate DACA.

The justices could have agreed to hear the case this spring, leapfrogging a federal appeals court based in California that has been sympathetic to the cause of immigrants.

Two district court judges, in San Francisco and Brooklyn, previously ordered the Trump administration to spare Daca. The case still could come to the high court in the future.

The ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, however, won't take immediate effect, with the judge delaying the ruling for 90 days to allow the administration to make its case in a new memo justifying the end of the program. The judge also accused the government of providing "meager legal reasoning" to support its decision. He said the plaintiffs would be harmed, in part through economic disruptions and the loss of tax revenue caused by the DREAMers' change in status. Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the federal district court in Brooklyn and Judge William Alsup of the federal district court in San Francisco were both appointed by Bill Clinton. He said the administration was wrong for several reasons, such as its premise that Obama's creation of the program was unconstitutional and illegal in the first place. "DACA's rescission will, therefore, be set aside", Bates wrote in his 60-page ruling.

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