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DACA Protest in Washington

Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty

Another Trump administration ruling bites the dust.

U.S. District Judge John Bates overruled the president’s efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and this time they’re saying the government has to accept new applications. His 60-page ruling concluded that the plan to take away DACA was “arbitrary and capricious because the Department of Homeland Security failed to “adequately explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.” The judge also said the government provided “meager legal reasoning” to support their decision.

About 700,000 young undocumented immigrants, known as DREAMERs, have signed up but must renew their DACA status every two years. The program also allows them to work legally in the United States.

The Justice Department responded to the ruling by saying they stand by the original decision, calling DACA an “unlawful circumvention of Congress,” and it intends on continuing to make the case to the courts.

“The Department of Homeland Security therefore acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner,” spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement released Tuesday night. “Promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens. The Justice department will continue to vigorously defend this position, and looks forward to vindicating its position in further litigation.”

DACA has been under attack since President Donald Trump attempted to end it in September, after two federal judges cast nationwide rulings to accept renewals of two-year permits provided by the program and after the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals process to overturn those decisions back in February. While those two federal judges issued orders that the program remains in place, this is the first to require the government to accept new applications.

This is a huge win for immigrants, but it’s important to note that many are still fighting for a clean DACA program that would offer a pathway for recipients to become citizens. As it stands now, protection is great, but it’s only a band-aid to cover up a more significant issue.