The Trump administration has been ordered by a federal judge to restart the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The administration has until Aug. 23 to appeal the ruling by U.S. District Judge John Bates who said in his opinion Friday that there was not enough justification proving former President Obama’s policy was “unlawful and unconstitutional,” Fox News reported.
Former federal prosecutor Doug Burns found the ruling to be the “irony of ironies” as Obama never had the Constitutional authority to start the program but President Trump is being told he cannot phase it out.
“Under separation of powers,” Burns said on “Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream” Friday, “this is really a Congressional matter.”
Syndicated conservative talk radio show host, Buck Sexton, questioned in a tweet why a president is even needed when left-wing judges like Bates can make rulings like Friday’s.
Why do we even have a President? Apparently all we need is a handful of left-wing federal judge.
— Buck Sexton
Bates delayed his ruling, giving the Trump administration 20 days “to determine whether it intends to appeal the Court’s decision and, if so, to seek a stay pending appeal,” on the program which provides certain illegal immigrants a form of amnesty.
Nearly 800,000 “Dreamers” came to the U.S. illegally as children and have been allowed to stay in the country under DACA, the 2012 program created by Obama through executive order and which Trump rescinded in September, following through on a campaign promise. But that decision, according to the judge’s opinion, “was arbitrary and capricious” with legal judgment that was “inadequately explained.”
Trump’s decision to end the policy still allowed beneficiaries to temporarily use the program while giving Congress an opportunity to pass corrective legislation.
The court had issued a 90-day stay in April following the ruling that the decision to rescind DACA by the Department of Homeland Security’s was “unlawful,” according to court documents. But that period of time, in which it was thought the “DHS could possibly remedy the decision’s inadequacies — at least in theory,” is now over, the judge said.
Bates, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, denied a motion by the Justice Department to reconsider his earlier decision, citing deficiencies in the argument to rescind DACA.
“The court has already once given DHS the opportunity to remedy these deficiencies — either by providing a coherent explanation of its legal opinion or by reissuing its decision for bona fide policy reasons that would preclude judicial review,” Bates wrote in the 25-page opinion. “So it will not do so again.”
“For the reasons explained below, the government’s motion will be denied,” the document read. “Although the Nielsen Memo purports to offer further explanation for DHS’ decision to rescind DACA, it fails to elaborate meaningfully on the agency’s primary rationale for its decision: the judgment that the policy was unlawful and unconstitutional.”
The judge wrote that while the memo from DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen gave “additional ‘policy’ grounds” to undo DACA, “most of these simply repackage legal arguments previously made,” making them “‘insufficiently independent from the agency’s evaluation of DACA’s legality’ to preclude judicial review or to support the agency’s decision.”
The court, the judge acknowledged, was not saying the DHS didn’t have “the statutory or constitutional authority” to end the Obama-era policy.
“Rather, the court simply holds that if DHS wishes to rescind the program – or to take any other action, for that matter – it must give a rational explanation for its decision,” Bates wrote.
“A conclusory assertion that a prior policy is illegal, accompanied by a hodgepodge of illogical or post hoc policy assertions, simply will not do,” he added. “The court therefore reaffirms its conclusion that DACA’s rescission was unlawful and must be set aside.”
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway reasserted the apparent double standard in ruling.
“President Obama didn’t have the authority to do this, but somehow that was okay. But when President Trump tries to correct that issue, by rescinding it, then he can’t do it,” she told Fox News’ Brett Baier on “Special Report” Friday.
.@MZHemingway on DACA ruling: “President Obama didn’t have the authority to this, but somehow that was okay. But when President Trump tries to correct that issue, by rescinding it, then he can’t do it.” #SpecialReport https://t.co/k7DTFsqKmf pic.twitter.com/f7f5if9oa6
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 4, 2018
If the administration fails to meet the court’s request to provide justification for phasing out DACA, new applications from those who meet eligibility requirements will need to be accepted when the ruling goes into effect later this month.