A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to restart the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, phased out by the president earlier this year.
DACA is a program that allows for the children of illegal aliens who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16 to avoid deportation. Almost a million illegal aliens are eligible to apply.
Trump tried to get Congress to address the issue without success. Now a judge has given the administration 20 days to come up with a better rationale for ending it.
The restart won’t be immediate. U.S. District Judge John Bates said Friday that the order would be delayed until Aug. 23 to allow the government to appeal, but he denied a Justice Department motion to reconsider his earlier decision, saying there were still deficiencies in the administration’s rationale for rescinding DACA.
“The court has already once given DHS the opportunity to remedy these deficiencies — either by providing a coherent explanation of its legal opinion or by reissuing its decision for bona fide policy reasons that would preclude judicial review,” said Bates, “So it will not do so again.”
Bates in April became the third federal judge to order the administration to restart renewals for people previously approved for DACA.
He also threatened to vacate the memo ending DACA — and thereby restore the program in full — if Trump officials could not present an adequate reason for ending it.
One of the reasons given by the Trump administration for ending the program is that DACA was created by executive order during the Obama years and can be ended in similar fashion. Apparently, some presidents are more equal than others before the law and so Judge Bates rejected that argument.
Congress never authorized DACA, but why let little things like democracy and the Constitution stand in the way of judicial activism?
This is a case destined for the Supreme Court where it is likely that Trump’s actions to overturn an executive order by issuing another executive order will be validated.