Judge rules Trump administration must continue DACA program

US President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House in Washington DC

The decision was made by U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates who said the Department of Homeland Security's explanation for ending DACA was "too flimsy and ultimately, unpersuasive". And although the government suggests that DACA's rescission was also predicated on the Department's assessment of litigation risk, this consideration is insufficiently distinct from the agency's legal judgment to alter the reviewability analysis. "As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress", said Devin O'Malley, a department spokesman.

DACA allowed immigrants brought to the US illegally as children, known as Dreamers, to stay and work legally under renewable permits.

"The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend this position and looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation", the statement said. Deferred Action meant they were given work permits and Social Security cards, giving them the chance to get driver's licenses and some taxpayer benefits. Two nationwide injunctions earlier this year applied only to renewal requests.

The move follows similar decisions from judges in NY and San Francisco.

President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security suffered a third judicial setback on Tuesday in the White House-led effort to squash the hotly contested DACA program.

Bates went beyond the previous two rulings that have taken place over the past several months mandating that the government must not only process renewal applications from the almost 700,000 existing DACA recipients but "must accept and process new".

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This latest suit against the Trump administration in the DACA dispute was brought by Princeton University, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and others, who said the decision to end DACA was based on arbitrary reasons. But two other judges in California and NY had previously ruled it illegal. Judge Titus's District of Maryland ruling upholding the end of DACA had granted plaintiffs this.

Both the NY and California rulings have been appealed to circuit courts. He said the government could offer a "coherent" argument for how DACA conflicts with immigration law, or that it violates the president's constitutional duty to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed". From there, it is expected to go to the Supreme Court.

The Trump administration said it is reviewing the decision.

While the previous decisions came from judges appointed by President Bill Clinton, Bates was nominated by President George W. Bush.

He did grant the administration one victory by refusing to order U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the government agency that handles DACA applications, not to share data on recipients with deportation officers.

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