A federal trial court in New York City ordered President Donald Trump’s administration to continue administering the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, though it cautioned the government may eventually end the policy.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis, a former President Bill Clinton appointee on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, concluded the government violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) when it ended the program. Seventeen Democratic state attorneys general brought the case challenging the administration’s termination of DACA.
The APA is a federal law governing the promulgation and cancellation of regulations.
“Federal courts from coast to coast have now reviewed the record and reached the same conclusion: President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA was illegal,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. “Today’s ruling reflects not only the illegality of the Trump Administration’s move to rescind DACA, but also the clear and demonstrable benefits DACA provides to New Yorkers across our great state.”
Garaufis cautioned his ruling does not hold that DACA’s rescission is unlawful, and left open the possibility that the government may legitimately revoke the policy at some point in the future.
Judge William Alsup of the federal trial court in San Francisco, Calif. ordered the Department of Homeland Security to maintain DACA in January. The judge concluded that the legal rationale justifying Trump’s action was insufficient, making the rescission arbitrary and capricious.
There are approximately 700,000 DACA beneficiaries, though the administration is not required to process new applications.
In a rare procedural move, the Justice Department appealed Alsup’s decision directly to the Supreme Court. Government lawyers argue the size and importance of the program warrants an immediate and definitive ruling on DACA’s termination.
The justices are scheduled to consider the request Friday. As such, the Alsup and Garaufis orders may only remain in effect for a few more days.
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