WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — A federal judge has ruled that the Trump administration must begin accepting new applications again for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The ruling comes nearly a month after the Supreme Court rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end the DACA program and rescind legal protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants known as "Dreamers."
The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland ruled DACA must be fully restored to its pre-September 5, 2017, status, before Trump tried to repeal it.
Since the Supreme Court's ruling, Trump has indicated he planned to try and get rid of the program a second time. On Twitter last month, the president said the administration would be submitting "enhanced papers" but did not provide any additional details.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra praised Friday's ruling, tweeting that "From the Supreme Court down, the courts have made it clear: DACA stands, and now its doors are open to new Dreamers to apply. That's a fact and that's what matters."
President Barack Obama announced DACA in 2012. Commonly known as “Dreamers" after the failed legislation that would have provided a path to citizenship, these immigrants have been in the U.S. since they were children. Recipients went through extensive background screening to get two-year work permits and protection from deportation.
But Trump made tough talk on immigration a central part of his campaign and less than eight months after taking office, he announced in September 2017 that he would end DACA.
Immigrants, civil rights groups, universities and Democratic-led states quickly sued, and courts put the administration’s plan on hold.
The Department of Homeland Security has continued to process two-year DACA renewals so that hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have protections stretching beyond the election and even into 2022.