Setback for Trump: Federal judge rules in support of "Dreamers" program

US President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House in Washington DC

Ludovic MARIN AFP Getty Images President Trump spoke at the White House on Tuesday

A third USA federal judge rules that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) must stay, for now. If it can not do so, he said, the order to withdraw the program will be vacated and the DHS must "accept and process new as well as renewal applications".

In response to Bates' ruling, the Justice Department stood by their original reasoning and said DACA is an "unlawful circumvention of Congress". "DACA's rescission will, therefore, be set aside", Bates wrote in his 60-page ruling.

The Washington Post's David Nakamura examines President Trump's latest comments on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The US justice department said it would continue to seek an end to the programme.

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Judge Bates stayed his decision for 90 days to allow Homeland Security officials an opportunity to better explain why they believe the program is unlawful. Thousands could be eligible to apply.

The judge, ruling in favor of Princeton University and the NAACP, wrote Tuesday that the administration's explanation was "particularly egregious" because it didn't mention that numerous hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries had obtained jobs and pursued education based on the assumption that they would be allowed to renew.

"We are pleased and gratified. but we're not out of the woods yet", said Bradford Berry, general counsel for the NAACP. It is the government's contention, based on rulings that struck down the similar Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program, that DACA is illegal, and their immediate end to DACA was meant to stop defending an illegal program.

Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber added that "While the decision does not fully resolve the uncertainty facing DACA beneficiaries, it unequivocally rejects the rationale the government has offered for ending the program and makes clear that the DHS acted arbitrarily and capriciously".

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Lawmakers remain at loggerheads on a legislative solution.

The majority of "dreamers" are from Mexico and other Latin American countries. The Trump administration will say that the ban is a lawful exercise of executive authority. 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", the statement said. The decision will be reviewed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. President Donald Trump announced past year that he would end the program started by President Barack Obama.

"The Department's decision to rescind DACA was predicated primarily on its legal judgment that the program was unlawful".

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He called on Republicans in Congress to pass "tough" new anti-immigration legislation.

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