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Judge rules against ending program to protect Dreamers; White House condemns ruling
The White House on Wednesday, April 25, sharply criticized a federal judge’s ruling that the Trump administration must resume a program 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 Sanders characterized the ruling as “good news” for smuggling organizations and criminal networks and “horrible news for our national security.”

A federal judge ruled  Tuesday, April 24, against the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, calling the Department of Homeland Security’s rationale against the program “arbitrary and capricious.”

DACA allowed immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, known as Dreamers, to stay and work legally under renewable permits.
Arturo Adame, head of the Young Democrats of Hall County, said the ruling shows the Trump administration’s actions “didn’t have many legs to stand on.”

“It now puts the current administration on the spot to explain the downsides of the program to justify its scaling back ... and I believe they will have trouble making a compelling case,” he added.

Adame’s parents are Mexican immigrants, and he was born in the United States.

“My heart really goes out to my Hispanic peers that have to keep following the news and feel as if their person and livelihood is being used as a political tug of war,” he said. “I can see how much anxiety, stress and anger they feel.”

President Donald Trump announced last year he would end the program started by President Barack Obama. It was officially rescinded in March, but DHS is continuing to issue renewals because of previous court orders.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates in Washington wrote the decision “was unlawful and must be set aside.”

Bates said the administration’s decision in September to phase out the program over six months relied on “meager legal reasoning.” He invited the Department of Homeland Security to try again, “this time providing a fuller explanation for the determination that the program lacks statutory and constitutional authority.”

Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, said the ruling was important for those waiting to renew their immigration status and those who are coming of age to apply for DACA’s protections.

“This clearly indicates what Trump did to DACA was unlawful,” adding that it “raises questions about (the administration’s) intentions” in ending the program.

If Tuesday’s ruling 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, as well as renewals.

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 program had obtained jobs and pursued education based on the assumption that they would be allowed to renew.

The administration contends the program started in 2012 is a misuse of executive power and that it had to act because Texas and other states threatened to sue.

Nearly 690,000 people were enrolled when the Trump administration said it was ending the program, and 8 out of 10 were from Mexico. To qualify, they needed to have arrived before they turned 16, been younger than 31 in June 2012, completed high school or served in the military, and had clean criminal records. The two-year-permits are subject to renewal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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