A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Friday upheld his previous ruling that the government must restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and accept new applications. Princeton University, Microsoft, and Maria Perales Sanchez, a DACA recipient who graduated from Princeton University this June, are plaintiffs in the case.
In April, Judge John D. Bates said that the Department of Homeland Security’s legal explanation for the termination of the DACA program was “arbitrary, capricious and unpersuasive” and the department failed to explain why the program was unlawful.
Bates stayed his decision for 90 days to give the Department of Homeland Security the opportunity to explain the reasons for ending it. On Friday he reaffirmed his order that would force the government to restore the program. The government has 20 days to appeal his decision.
The Trump administration announced late last year that it would phase out DACA, which protects undocumented young adults commonly called “Dreamers” who arrived in the United States as children from deportation, and grants them two-year renewable work permits.
Princeton, Perales Sanchez and Microsoft filed a lawsuit Nov. 3, alleging that the termination of DACA violated the United States Constitution and federal law. Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber issued a statement Friday night saying school officials are pleased with the court’s ruling that the DACA program is unlawful and must be set aside.
“Princeton University’s continued success as a world-class institution of learning and research depends on our ability to attract talent from all backgrounds, including Dreamers. Our DACA students have earned numerous academic honors, awards and fellowships. Their contributions strengthen our community, and we are proud to stand with them,” Eisgruber said. “Though we are delighted with today’s ruling, we will continue to urge Congress to enact a permanent solution that recognizes the contributions Dreamers make and grants them the permanent protection and certainty that they deserve.”
Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, said a lasting solution for Dreamers is crucial for both economic and humanitarian reasons. “We hope today’s decision will encourage the nation’s leaders to work together before the end of the year to address the uncertainty Dreamers have been living with for almost a year,” he said in a statement. “Dreamers grew up in this country, attended our schools, pay taxes and contribute to our communities. They deserve bipartisan action by Congress.”