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Federal Judge Reinstates DACA – At Least Temporarily

A federal judge ruled that protections provided to undocumented immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy must remain in place and the government must resume accepting new applications. Judge John D. Bates of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia said the Trump administration’s reasoning for terminating the program was based on the “virtually unexplained” grounds that the programs was illegal.

Bates stayed his decision for 90 days in order to allow the Department of Homeland Security time to further explain its thinking. The department must accept and process new and renewal DACA applications. If it does not adequately explain its reason for canceling the DACA program in the 90-day window, the rescission will be vacated entirely.

Understanding DACA

President Trump has attempted to end the DACA program, which was created during Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House to provide protections to immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Those who have signed up for DACA – about 700,000 across the U.S. – must renew their status every two years.

Following Judge Bates’ ruling, the Justice Department issued a statement pledging to continue to defend the administration’s right to end the DACA program.

It is important for individuals who qualify for protection under DACA to renew their status and monitor future court decisions regarding its legality. A knowledgeable immigration law attorney can help you navigate the renewal process and explain developments in DACA law as they occur.