Fourth Circuit Holds Administration Broke Law In Rescinding DACA
A divided Fourth Circuit court ruled Friday that President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, otherwise known as DACA, was unlawful because the administration failed to “adequately explain” its decision.
In a majority ruling that echoed an earlier decision by the 9th Circuit, the Virginia-based appeals court said Trump’s termination of the program was “arbitrary and capricious.”
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia found that the administration’s termination of the program was “arbitrary and capricious,” in line with a prior ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Attorneys for the administration had argued the decision to rescind DACA was an agency decision, and therefore not subject to requirements for a public comment period under the Administrative Procedure Act.
While the appeals panel accepted this as true, a majority of the judges said officials had not gone far enough in explaining why they had taken the decision.
The judges took particular note of the fact that while then-Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke rescinded a policy that affected “hundreds of thousands of enrollees” she made not one mention of them in a memo backing her decisions.
They also found that while the administration argued that DACA was unlawful in its decision to end the program, the documents used to back up those claims did not “identify any statutory provision with which the DACA policy conflicts.”
In a dissenting opinion, U.S. Circuit Judge Julius Richardson said he believes the Trump administration had the authority to “decide to prosecute, or not prosecute, an individual or a group” as long it’s permitted under the Constitution.
“Here, the Executive’s proper exercise of that discretion to rescind DACA is judicially unreviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act, regardless of one’s view of the policy questions underlying DACA. To hold otherwise permits the Judicial Branch to invade the province of the Executive and impair the carefully constructed separation of powers laid out in our Constitution,” Richardson wrote.
A representative of the Justice Department declined to comment on the ruling.
Preserving DACA is a top Democratic priority, but discussions between Trump and Democrats on the issue have gone nowhere.
President Barack Obama began the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2012.
It shielded a group of immigrants known as “Dreamers” and has given them work permits but not a path to citizenship. About 800,000 people, mostly Hispanics, have received DACA protection since then.
In The News
In The News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision Thursday blocked a lower court ruling allowing curbside voting in Alabama and waiving some absentee ballot requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conservative justices granted Alabama’s request to stay a federal judge’s order that would... Read More
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — President Donald Trump will begin his Independence Day weekend on Friday with a patriotic display of fireworks at Mount Rushmore before a crowd of thousands, but even in a part of the country where many remain supportive of the president, the... Read More
BELMAR, N.J. (AP) — As coronavirus-related restrictions are eased and temperatures climb, people are flocking back to the Jersey Shore. And with the July Fourth holiday weekend upon us, that's making some people nervous, particularly given the large crowds that have surfaced at some popular shore... Read More
A congressional committee criticized President Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday for a series of problems in distributing personal protective and testing equipment during the coronavirus pandemic and called on the administration to come up with a better plan. “We need urgent action from the federal government... Read More
NEW YORK (AP) — The idea sounds almost un-American. The Fourth of July was always a time for communities to come together, daylong celebrations with patriotic parades in the morning and fireworks finales to cap it off. This year, people are being urged to stay home.... Read More
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Now that the Lincoln Project has the nation’s attention with its ads baiting and attacking President Donald Trump, the political action committee is going grassroots. To start, the Lincoln Project, founded by well-known conservatives late last year, is tapping veteran California Republicans to... Read More