The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Thursday upheld a nationwide injunction blocking the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy.
The Ninth Circuit upheld the ruling that the decision to repeal DACA was “arbitrary and capricious.” The court also unanimously held that the rescission of DACA after immigrants registered in the data-system was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.
DACA, implemented by the Obama administration, allows some undocumented immigrants who entered the country prior to their sixteenth birthday and before June 2007 to get exemption from deportation and a renewable two-year work permit.
The Trump administration attempted to rescind DACA as beyond the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Two of the three judges on the Ninth Circuit panel ruled against the DHS:
because the Acting Secretary was incorrect in her belief that DACA was illegal and had to be rescinded, plaintiffs are likely to succeed in demonstrating that the rescission must be set aside under the [Administrative Procedure Act (APA)] as arbitrary and capricious.
In addition to the “arbitrary and capricious” challenge under the APA, the appeals court was unanimous in finding a potential Equal Protection claim.
The panel further concluded that the district court also properly denied the government’s motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ APA arbitrary-and-capricious claim, their claim that the new information-sharing policy violates their due process rights, and their claim that the DACA rescission violates their right to equal protection.
DACA recipients will now have to wait to see if the Supreme Court will take up a challenge to the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.