Maryland Judge Upholds Trump's Decision to End DACA

A Maryland federal judge on Monday upheld the Trump administration's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Politico reported. The decision came on the same day as President Trump's deadline for Congress to approve a legislative solution to protect hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children against deportation.

Judge Roger W. Titus of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland ruled that President Trump acted within his authority in his plan to rescind the Obama-era program, although stated in a revealing opinion that he would would have preferred a different conclusion.

"An overwhelming percentage of Americans support protections for 'Dreamers,' yet it is not the province of the judiciary to provide legislative or executive actions when those entrusted with those responsibilities fail to act," Judge Titus wrote.

"This Court does not like the outcome of this case, but is constrained by its constitutionally limited role to the result that it has reached," Judge Titus continued. "Hopefully, the Congress and the President will finally get their job done."

Monday's ruling has no immediate impact, though. Federal judges in California and New York previously ordered nationwide temporary injunctions barring the Trump administration from ending the Obama-era program as planned. The court rulings found that the administration's reasoning for ending DACA was arbitrary and capricious and based on the flawed legal conclusion that DACA was unlawful. The decisions preventing the Trump administration from unwinding the program will remain in place as the lower courts continue their reviews. Under the terms of the temporary injunctions, the government must resume renewing DACA and work authorizations for the 690,000 previous beneficiaries who held that status when the Trump administration announced the end of the program on September 5.

Congress has stalled in its effort to legislate on the matter. Most recently, the Senate blocked legislation that would extend DACA for three years while providing $7.6 billion in border security funding, The Hill reported. Uncertainty remains for unprotected Dreamers as well as the long-term prospects for DACA recipients as the program temporarily continues. Existing beneficiaries may see gaps in their coverage—risking losing their jobs and being deported—as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security adjudicates their applications, Inside Higher Ed reported.

Senators are reportedly eyeing this month's government funding bill as a vehicle for a legislative DACA fix, as they search for ways to break a months-long stalemate. However, it is still unclear whether lawmakers will be able to reach a bipartisan deal.


Related Links

U.S. District Court Judge Roger W. Titus's Memorandum Opinion


The Hill

Inside Higher Ed