Trump Administration Ordered to Reinstate DACA

A federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the Trump Administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The judge ruled that the Administration’s decision to rescind the DACA program was “unlawful and must be set aside.” The court subsequently amended the order, however, so that the Administration is not required to accept first-time, initial applications and applications for advance parole based on DACA.

Background on Trump’s Decision to End DACA

Beneficiaries of DACA, popularly referred to as “Dreamers,” are undocumented immigrants, who were brought to the United States as children. The Obama Administration implemented the DACA program in 2012 as a means of providing work authorization to qualifying individuals and to shield them from being removed (i.e. deported) from the United States. In September 2017, the Trump Administration made the decision to phase-out the DACA program. Under this decision, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) stopped accepting new applications for DACA after September 5, 2017, and only accepted renewal applications until October 5, 2017.

Following the Trump Administration’s decision to end DACA, advocates brought several court cases challenging the legality of the Administration’s decision to end the program. Most recently, in January 2018, a preliminary injunction forced the USCIS to continue to accept applications to renew DACA benefits, but did not apply to initial DACA applications.

DACA’s Termination Ruled as Unlawful – DACA Reinstated

In this case the court consolidated two challenges to the program brought by several parties, including, the NAACP and Princeton University. In April 2018, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia originally ruled that the Trump Administration’s decision to end DACA was unlawful because the Administration had failed to provide adequate reasoning for its decision to terminate the program. The court, however, set aside this decision for ninety days to allow the Administration to provide additional reasoning for its decision. The Court ultimately found that the Administration had still failed to provide a lawful reasoning for its decision, and ordered the Trump Administration to reinstate the program.


While the ruling reinstating the DACA program is a welcome victory by advocates who recognize the value DACA recipients add to our country, the legal battle is far from over. The Trump Administration is expected to continue to push for an end to the program.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.