Second US Appeals Court Rules Trump Cannot End Protections for ‘Dreamers’

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that President Donald Trump cannot end a program that shielded from deportation immigrants brought into the country illegally as children, the second time the administration has lost an appeal on the issue.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said in its ruling that the 2017 rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program violated administrative law because the policy change was not adequately explained.

The ruling reversed a decision by a federal court in Maryland, and sent the case back for further proceedings.

The Department of Justice declined to comment.

Republican Trump’s Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, began DACA in 2012. It shielded a group of immigrants known as “Dreamers” and has given them work permits but not a path to citizenship. About 800,000 people, mostly Hispanics, have received DACA protection.

Trump has taken a stern stance against illegal immigration. His administration announced plans in September 2017 to phase out DACA, arguing that Obama exceeded his constitutional powers when he bypassed Congress and created the program.

Rights groups, states and individuals filed numerous lawsuits against the Trump administration over the decision to end the program. A series of lower courts have generally ruled against the government, leaving DACA in place for now.

The appeals court in Virginia found by a 2-1 decision that the rescission of DACA was arbitrary and capricious and violated administrative law.

Judge Robert King, appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton, and Judge Albert Diaz, appointed by Obama, formed the majority. Judge Julius Richardson, who was appointed by Trump, dissented.

A similar decision was reached by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in November, which upheld a lower court injunction against ending the program.

The Supreme Court currently has three Trump administration appeals pending that seek to revive the administration’s DACA proposal but the justices have so far delayed acting on them. It is likely the conservative-leaning court will ultimately have the final say on the issue.

On Thursday, Trump unveiled a proposed overhaul of the U.S. immigration system to favor educated English speakers over people with family ties to Americans, a plan he will push in his 2020 re-election campaign.

But the plan did not include protections for ‘Dreamers,’ a sticking point for Democratic lawmakers who say a permanent fix for this group of immigrants must be part of any proposed policy changes.

(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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Barbara Naumchik Geils

although I feel bad for these kids, they were part of their parents illegal acts, however, if congress is supposed to be in charge of changing immigration laws then obama had no right to make DACA a law in the first place by bypassing congress and using an executive order. so why is it not in the boundaries of the current president to rescind that executive order?

Mary Ridosh-Spalding

This is a load of BS, if these “dreamers” were so eager to stay in this country, WHY are they not moving towards citizenship??? DEPORT them all!!


The courts have no say so here.


Our right to self defense and defense of our families needs to be executed upon the corrupt federal judiciary and any law maker(s) who propose or approve any legislation in conflict with our Constitution. Perhaps another American Revolution is in order?

Erica Fry

Someone please explain to me why an executive order that was an end-run around Congress cannot be rescinded by a second executive order.

Tom Bodine

SCOTUS is the answer other than shipping them out.

Paul Pettie

Trump should just ignore these socialist courts and issue another Exec Order …. If they were put in effect by Ex Order they can be removed by Exec Order.

Mary Jo

“program violated administrative law because the policy change was not adequately explained” How does a reversal of an admittedly illegal (by Obama) EA violate administrative law? It’s not a law, it was an ILLEGAL Executive Action. These courts are definitely out of control.

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