Published: Mon, May 20, 2019

Second U.S. appeals court rules Trump cannot end protections for 'Dreamers'

Second U.S. appeals court rules Trump cannot end protections for 'Dreamers'

Virginia's 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the decision to end DACA was "arbitrary and capricious", and then-Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke "rescinded a general enforcement policy in existence for over five years and affecting hundreds of thousands of enrollees based on the view that the policy was unlawful".

The Trump administration in 2017 attempted to end DACA completely but was stopped from fully doing so by the courts.

The Richmond-based federal appeals court is the second appeals court to rule against President Trump in his attempt to wind down the DACA program, which was implemented by the Obama administration in 2012 and protected immigrants brought to the US illegally as children from the threat of deportation. Currently, DACA recipients can renew their status, but no new applicants can receive protections.

The ruling overturned a previous in Maryland, but will not have any immediate effect. The Justice Department declined to comment.

A similar decision was reached by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in November, which upheld a lower court injunction against ending the program. "Yet the department changed course without any explanation for why that analysis was faulty", wrote Judge Albert Diaz, an Obama appointee.


A dissenting judge said the decision to revoke DACA could not be reviewed by the courts under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Judge Julius Richardson, a President Donald Trump appointee, writing in dissent said, "we the Judicial Branch have a narrowly circumscribed role".

They said the Justice Department in 2014 issued an opinion justifying the use of executive powers to grant a broad deportation amnesty, known as "deferred action", for categories of migrants.

But the plan did not include protections for 'Dreamers, ' a sticking point for Democratic lawmakers who say a permanent fix for this group of immigrants must be part of any proposed policy changes.

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