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US: DACA program receives rebuff in court

President Trump’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals announced in September 2017 has received another rebuff in the US Courts.

DACA march.Photo: Flickr/ Molly Adams

Bates described the recission as "virtually unexplained" and that it was carried out in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner

Ruling at the end of April 2018, judge John D. Bates for the District of Columbia described the recission as “virtually unexplained” and that it was carried out in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner.

“They just object to the way he went about it”

He ordered the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to begin accepting new applications for DACA benefits by the end of July.

DACA was set up under president Obama in 2012, born of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (Dream) Act, never enacted but lending its name to recipients of DACA – known as ‘Dreamers’.

The measure allows undocumented immigrants who entered the US under the age of 16 to apply for protection from deportation. Pending a background check, those eligible would receive renewable two-year permits to work and study in the US.

Believing it to encourage illegal immigration and to be unaccountable, Republican states mounted a legal challenge to DACA.

Rather than deal with an immediate cessation, Trump’s rescission was designed to stagger the cancellation of the programme over 6 months. 700,000 people came under the protection of this measure when the cancellation was announced.

Mindful of the image of the US in international education destination, DACA’s recission prompted strong opposition from US higher education stakeholders with over 130 colleges and universities issuing statements of support for DACA beneficiaries.

Though Bates’ ruling goes further than previous rulings, by allowing new applications and not just renewals, the three-month stay allows for a further and more fully explained attempt at rescission.

However, attorney at law at Louisiana-based firm Ware Immigration, David Ware told The PIE News that there is no real chance that the rescission will be stopped.

“Although recent court rulings have ordered the Administration to continue accepting new DACA applications as well as renewals, the program is in a death spiral, as none of the judicial decisions deny Trump’s fundamental power to rescind Obama’s Executive Order.

“They just object to the way he went about it,” Ware added.

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