UN: The White House on Wednesday sharply criticised a federal judge’s ruling that the Trump administration must resume a programme that has shielded hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.
While the government has 90 days to restate its arguments before the order takes effect, presidential press secretary Sarah Huckabee characterised the ruling as “good news” for smuggling organisations and criminal networks and “horrible news for our national security.”
On Tuesday night, a federal judge ruled against the Trump administration’s decision to end a programme protecting some young immigrants from deportation, calling the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) rationale against the programme “arbitrary and capricious.”
Setback for Trump team
If Tuesday’s ruling by US District Judge John D Bates in Washington survives the three-month reprieve, it would be a new setback for the Trump team because it would require the administration to accept requests from first-time applicants for the Obama-era programme.
Two nationwide injunctions earlier this year applied only to renewal requests for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme.
DACA recipients are commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” based on never-passed proposals in Congress called the DREAM Act that would have provided similar protections for young immigrants.
Siding with Princeton University, Bates said the administration’s decision in September to phase out the programme over six months relied on “meager legal reasoning.” He invited the DHS to try again, “this time providing a fuller explanation for the determination that the programme lacks statutory and constitutional authority.”
The judge wrote that the administration’s explanation was “particularly egregious” because it didn’t mention that many of the hundreds of thousands covered by the programme had obtained jobs and pursued education based on the assumption that they would be allowed to renew.
Misuse of power?
The administration contends the programme started in 2012 is a misuse of executive power and that it had to act because Texas and other states threatened to sue. In January, US District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ruled that the administration failed to justify ending the programme; his nationwide injunction forced the administration to resume accepting renewal requests within a week.
A federal judge in New York issued a similar ruling in February; a judge in Maryland sided with the administration. The Supreme Court in February denied the administration’s unusual request to leapfrog appeals courts and take on Alsup’s injunction, ensuring that DACA would stay in effect for the time being.