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Hope for Dreamers

Federal Judge John Bates of Washington, DC gave hope Tuesday night to dreamers across America. In the case NAACP v. Trump, Judge Bates ruled that the Trump administration must allow immigrants who qualify for DACA – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – to apply for work permits, even if they hadn’t applied before the previous deadline of September 2017.  This comes after federal judges in New York and California had previously issued preliminary injunctions against the end of DACA. Judge Bates argued that the Trump administration’s motive for ending the DACA program was “virtually unexplained.”

In his 60-page ruling, Judge Bates wrote “DACA’s rescission was arbitrary and capricious because the department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.” Judge Bates is the first republican judge to rule against the end of DACA.

However, this ruling will not go into effect for 90 days. The Department of Homeland Security has until late July to issue a new memo that, according to Vox, “offers a stronger legal argument for ending DACA than the one it’s provided so far.” Dependent upon the new memo created by the Trump administration, this ruling could reanimate DACA, or could help the administration to overturn previous defeats.

If the ruling is passed in late July, then those who hadn’t already applied, roughly one million people, but were qualified for DACA may still apply for a two-year work permit. Also, DACA recipients would be able to apply for permission to return to the United States if they leave.

Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the Justice Department said in a statement that the order “doesn’t change the Department of Justice’s position on the facts: DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend benefits to this same group of illegal aliens. The Department of Homeland Security therefore acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner.”

O’Malley then promised, “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend this position, and looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation.”

Ali Noorani, the executive director of the Washington-based National Immigration Forum tweeted, “Either Trump finds another way to end the program, tossing hundreds of thousands of young people into deportation proceedings, or he works with Rs and Ds to find a legislative solution that secures our border and ensures Dreamers continue contributing to our economy. The American public wants permanent legislative solutions, not mass deportations.”

You can read the entire ruling by Judge John Bates here.

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