WASHINGTON — A third federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration’s decision to cancel an Obama-era program protecting young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
The decision, issued Tuesday evening by U.S. District Judge John Bates, a George W. Bush appointee in Washington, D.C., is in one respect the broadest so far against the administration’s move to end the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. That is because Judge Bates’ ruling requires the government to accept new applications, as well as applications for the renewal of benefits under DACA. The previous rulings required only that the administration resume accepting renewal requests.
The judge, however, postponed the effect of his ruling for 90 days to give the administration “an opportunity to better explain” its decision to cancel the program, which President Barack Obama initiated in 2012.
Judge Bates said the DACA cancellation was “arbitrary and capricious” because the administration failed to adequately explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.
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