Third DACA decision opens the gate for new applicants

Last year Nayeli Mercado (left) and Bertha Hernandez, both teachers at El Centro de la Raza, held signs made by the preschoolers in their classes in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in September. (Photo by Venice Buhain)

A federal judge on Tuesday upheld the Obama-era program that allowed undocumented youth to live and work in the U.S. without fearing deportation.

According to CNN, a District of Columbia Judge, John D. Bates, called the Trump Administration’s decision to roll back DACA “arbitrary and capricious”  because the Department of Homeland Security failed to “adequately explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”

DHS said it will appeal the judge’s opinion. The judge put a 90-day stay on his decision, which means if it is upheld it would take effect after 90 days.

This is the third decision by a judge that upholds the DACA program, and the first that re-opens the program to new applicants.

Judges from a California and New York federal court also said the rescinding of the DACA program was unconstitutional. Those decisions led to the continuation of the program.

But Bates’ opinion goes farther by allowing the program to not only continue by accepting renewals, but pushing the program to accept new applications from people who have previously been left out from the program; for instance, those too young to qualify under the requirements to apply for DACA.

This is the third case challenging President Donald Trump’s phasing out of the program. The case was brought on by a lawsuit by the NAACP, Princeton University and Microsoft, according to The New York Times.

The news that the DACA program has for a third time won in the courts has been hailed on social media as a triumph by immigration advocates, Dreamers and politicians.

Trump has yet to comment on the decision on Twitter.

Update: additional information was added about when the decision would take effect.