Princeton University, Microsoft and student victorious in lawsuit challenging Trump’s decision to end DACA program

Princeton University, Microsoft, and a student won a federal court case challenging the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children.

U.S. District Court Judge John Bates said on Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security’s legal explanation for the termination of the program was arbitrary, capricious and unpersuasive. The department failed to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful, Bates said in a 60-page opinion released Tuesday evening.

“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,” Bates wrote.

“The Department’s decision to rescind DACA was predicated primarily on its legal judgment that the program was unlawful,” he wrote. “That legal judgment was virtually unexplained, however, and so it cannot support the agency’s decision.”

The suit was brought by Princeton University, Microsoft and Maria Perales Sanchez , a DACA recipient who is a student at Princeton University.

“We are delighted that the court agreed with us that the government’s termination of the DACA program ‘was unlawful and must be set aside.’ As the court noted, ‘neither the meager legal reasoning nor the assessment of litigation risk provided by [the Department of Homeland Security]’ is enough to support the government’s decision to end the program,” Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber said in a written statement.

“While the decision does not fully resolve the uncertainty facing DACA beneficiaries, it unequivocally rejects the rationale the government has offered for ending the program and makes clear that the DHS acted arbitrarily and capriciously,” he said. ” Princeton, higher education and our country benefit from the talent and aspirations that Dreamers bring to our communities. We continue to urge Congress to enact a permanent solution that recognizes the contributions of Maria Perales Sanchez and other Dreamers, and offers them the protection and the certainty that they deserve.”

Microsoft President Brad Smith called for a legislative solution to protect Dreamers.

“Dreamers grew up in this country, attended our schools, pay taxes and contribute to our communities. We hope this decision will help provide new incentive for the legislative solution the country and these individuals so clearly deserve,” Smith said in a written statement. “As the business community has come to appreciate, a lasting solution for the country’s Dreamers is both an economic imperative and a humanitarian necessity.”