DACA allowed immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children, known as Dreamers, to stay and work legally under renewable permits.
The Trump administration had sought to phase out the program starting last month, but two previous federal rulings stalled its efforts. Bates was the first Republican-nominated judge to smack the Trump administration.
Judge John D. Bates said in his ruling on Tuesday that ending the program was "arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed to adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful". Neither of those rulings-by judges in NY and San Francisco-ordered the government to resume accepting new applications for protection under DACA, making Bates' ruling the strongest one so far. This should give the US Government, and the Trump administration enough time to explain their decision for canceling the program.
In the Texas trial court, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas had embraced "illegal alien" because, he wrote, "it is the term used by the Supreme Court in its latest pronouncement pertaining to this area of the law".
"The Department's decision to rescind DACA was predicated primarily on its legal judgment that the program was unlawful".
Judge Bates gave the justice department 90 days to try and prove that the DACA program is unlawful.
Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley said in a statement that the agency will continue to "vigorously defend" its decision.
The DACA program now enrolls almost 700,000 young immigrants in the U.S.
The head of an MU Latino student group said Wednesday a court ruling to protect the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program is welcome news.
DHS said it will appeal the judge's opinion. "As the court noted, 'neither the meager legal reasoning nor the assessment of litigation risk provided by [the Department of Homeland Security]' is enough to support the government's decision to end the program". Bates said that he did not believe the Trump administration provided a strong enough case for why the program should end.
Trump has yet to comment on the decision on Twitter. He said the government could offer a "coherent" argument for how DACA conflicts with immigration law, or that it violates the president's constitutional duty to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed".
The Supreme Court has already declined an administration request to leapfrog those courts and consider the DACA rescission immediately.