By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times – Tuesday, February 13, 2018
A federal judge in New York ruled Tuesday that the government must fully restart the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty and accept brand new applicants as well as renewals, throwing a potential wrench in the ongoing debate over the fate of “Dreamers” on Capitol Hill.
Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis said the administration does have the power to revoke DACA, but it must give a sound reason for doing so — and the Homeland Security Department’s September 2017 rationale fell far short of what is required in that regard.
He becomes the second judge to rule President Trump’s aides bungled the phaseout — but his decision is the most wide-ranging, ordering the government to not only allow those already in the program to renew their applications but also ordering the government to accept new applications.
“The question before the court is thus not whether defendants could end the DACA program, but whether they offered legally adequate reasons for doing so,” wrote Judge Garaufis, a Clinton appointee to the court. “Based on its review of the record before it, the court concludes that defendants have not done so.”
The judge said the Trump administration can still rescind the program in the future if it does it the right way.
And he said the administration doesn’t have to approve any specific DACA applications. But it must begin to process applications again.