Federal Judge Rules DHS Must Accept New DACA Applications

April 27, 2018

A third federal judge has ruled the Trump administration's move to end the DACA program is unlawful, going beyond previous rulings by ordering DHS to begin accepting new DACA applications in 90 days unless the agency can better explain its reason for canceling the program within that period.  As with the previous two decisions, the court found that "under the Administrative Procedure Act, DACA’s rescission was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.  Neither the meager legal reasoning nor the assessment of litigation risk provided by DHS to support its rescission decision is sufficient to sustain termination of the DACA program."  However, the court took a step further than the previous decisions in requiring DHS to accept new and renewal DACA applications as opposed to simply renewal applications.  HR Policy has joined on respective amicus briefs for each of the previous cases: one to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which is expected to hear its DACA case this May, and one to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Short of legislative action, the issue now seems to be firmly in the hands of the courts for at least a year.