A federal judge delivered another blow to President Trump’s attempt to roll back the Obama-era DACA program, ruling Tuesday that last year’s revocation was illegal and the entire program could have to be restarted.
That goes beyond other judges, who had also ruled the phaseout illegal but had only ordered Homeland Security to accept renewal applications from people who’d already been awarded DACA before. Judge John D. Bates’s ruling would require a full restart, meaning even illegal immigrant “Dreamers” who’d never been approved before would now be able to apply for DACA.
The judge imposed a 90-day delay on his own ruling to give the government a chance to reargue its case, but for now the ruling stands as the most severe blow yet to Mr. Trump’s phaseout, reports the Washington Times.
Judge Bates said the government never gave an adequate justification for revoking DACA, so its decision seemed “arbitrary and capricious” — which makes it illegal under the Administrative Procedures Act.
“The Department’s decision to rescind DACA was predicated primarily on its legal judgment that the program was unlawful. That legal judgment was virtually unexplained, however, and so it cannot support the agency’s decision,” he wrote in his 60-page ruling.
He added: “It was also arbitrary and capricious in its own right, and thus likewise cannot support the agency’s action. For these reasons, DACA’s rescission was unlawful and must be set aside.”
The ruling came a day before the Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments in another major immigration case involving Mr. Trump’s travel ban.
That case could end up setting precedent for how judges view DACA, sanctuary cities and a host of other major immigration cases winding their way through the courts.
Immigration activists cheered Tuesday’s decision but the Justice Department said it will continue to defend the phaseout.
“DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend benefits to this same group of illegal aliens. As such, it was an unlawful circumvention of Congress,” said Devin O’Malley, a department spokesman.
An MS-13 gang member tried to sneak into the U.S. last week by posing as an Unaccompanied Alien Child (UAC), the Border Patrol said Tuesday, hoping to take advantage of lax American laws that give UAC a quick foothold in the U.S.
Agents said Herbeth Geovani Argueta-Chavez was part of a group of 61 illegal immigrants nabbed as a group in Arizona.
“During initial interviews, he falsely claimed to be an unaccompanied juvenile in hopes of being released,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.
Agents continued to press Mr. Argueta-Chavez, who then admitted he was actually an adult, not a minor. He also admitted he was part of MS-13 — though he claimed he was trying to leave the gang.
CBP said Mr. Argueta-Chavez, 18, is from El Salvador.
UAC from El Salvador and other Central American countries are given special treatment compared to Mexicans. Under the law, court decisions and government policy, they are required to be processed and quickly released to social workers, who then try to connect them with sponsors who will take them here in the U.S. — despite their unauthorized status.
They are supposed to show up for deportation cases, but most do not, instead disappearing into the shadows.
UAC have created a new pool of recruits for Mara Salvatrucha-13, the violent gang better known as MS-13, here in the U.S.
But Mr. Argueta-Chavez’s case underscores another danger: gang members attempting to make bogus UAC claims to gain a foothold.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
April 25th, 2018