Remember the DACA debate?
If you’re a little rusty on the subject, that’s ok because after all, the Trump administration has been busy trying to undo every other Obama-era program on the books, so it’s admittedly hard to keep track of things, especially with all the real-time obstruction of justice taking place on the presidential Twitter feed.
Back in September, the Trump administration decided to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and has since tried to use it as a bargaining chip to secure leverage on Capitol Hill for all manner of controversial things the President wants to get done including, of course, securing funding for the monument to xenophobia he wants to construct on America’s border with Mexico.
“DACA is dead because the Democrats didn’t care or act, and now everyone wants to get onto the DACA bandwagon”, the President tweeted on April 2, before reiterating his demands as folllows:
Must build Wall and secure our borders with proper Border legislation. Democrats want No Borders, hence drugs and crime!
That’s nonsense, “hence” the vociferous opposition to the administration’s stance and “hence” a ruling handed down on Friday evening by DC District Judge John Bates (a George W. Bush appointee) who now says DACA should be fully restored within 20 days unless Trump can produce a plausible explanation for ending it. Here’s the gist of the ruling:
In April 2018, this Court held [the decision to rescind DACA] unlawful and set it aside, concluding both that it was reviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act and that the reasons given to support it were inadequate. However, because the Court also determined that DHS could possibly remedy the decision’s inadequacies–at least in theory–the Court stayed its order of vacatur for a period of ninety days.
That ninety-day period has now expired.
Yes, yes it has.
Bates goes to say that a memo penned by Kirstjen Nielsen purporting to justify the decision to end the program doesn’t cut it. Specifically, the court says Nielsen “fails to elaborate meaningfully on the agency’s primary rationale for its decision: the judgment that the policy was unlawful and unconstitutional.”
This seemingly adds to an already confusing situation. Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia, South Carolina and Nebraska are all suing to have the program ended entirely, while California and New York are on the record blocking the administration from shutting it down.
As CNN notes, the California and New York orders “only require the government to continue renewing existing applications [but] Bates’ ruling would go further and order the program reopened in its entirety.” The earlier decisions are have been appealed and are still pending.
Expect the President to be tweeting about this in 5…4…3…