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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this April 5, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump participates in a roundtable on immigration and border security at the U.S. Border Patrol Calexico Station in Calexico, Calif. A federal judge on Friday, May 17, 2019, in California will consider a challenge to President Donald Trump's plan to tap billions of dollars from the Defense and Treasury departments to build his prized border wall with Mexico. Twenty states brought one lawsuit; the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, brought the other. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals court ruled Friday the Trump administration acted in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner when it sought to end an Obama-era program that shields young immigrants from deportation.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 that the Trump administration violated federal law when it tried to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program without adequately explaining why. The ruling overturns a lower court ruling a judge in Maryland made last year, which Trump had previously praised via Twitter.

Friday's ruling will not have any immediate effect as other federal courts have already ordered that DACA be kept in place.

The 4th Circuit ruling said the Department of Homeland Security did not "adequately account" for how ending DACA program would affect the hundreds of thousands of young people who "structured their lives" around the program.

"We recognize the struggle is not over and there are more battles to fight in the Supreme Court on this road to justice, but our families are emboldened by knowing that they are on the right side of history," said Gustavo Torres, executive director of Casa de Maryland, the lead plaintiff in the case.

Trump and his Justice Department have argued that the Obama administration acted unlawfully when it implemented DACA. The Justice Department declined to comment.

Preserving DACA is a top Democratic priority, but discussions between Trump and Democrats on the issue have gone nowhere.

Trump's latest immigration plan, unveiled Thursday, does not address what to do about the hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that "every single time that we have put forward or anyone else has put forward any type of immigration plan that has included DACA it's failed."

DACA's fate could be decided by the Supreme Court, which is weighing the Trump administration's appeals of other federal court rulings.

The justices have set no date to take action.

If the high court decides it wants to hear the appeals, arguments would not take place before the fall. That means a decision is not expected until 2020, which could come in the thick of next year's presidential contest.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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  • Illinoisroy
    May 17, 2019 at noon

    "arbitrary and capricious", current administrations MO

  • 3WorldState1
    May 17, 2019 at 12:06 p.m.


  • Waitjustaminute
    May 17, 2019 at 1:01 p.m.

    So, the Obama administration created DACA with no legal power to do so. Just a 'phone and a pen' kind of thing. Didn't have to explain why.

    The next administration seeks to end it, which is completely within its legal prerogative - and a federal judge says they can't, because they didn't explain why.

    Okay, got it.

  • glh05230944
    May 17, 2019 at 1:40 p.m.

    Waitaminute; What is your legal basis for your comment, "So, the Obama administration created DACA with no legal power to do so?" By the way, two judges ruled against you.

  • Waitjustaminute
    May 17, 2019 at 2:17 p.m.

    From heritage.or g:
    "President . . Trump has caught a lot of heat for rescinding the DACA program . . . Few people seem aware that he's ending an administrative amnesty for illegal aliens that President Barack Obama lacked the constitutional and legal authority to implement.

    How do we know? Because even Obama admitted it – repeatedly.
    Responding in October 2010 to demands that he implement immigration reforms unilaterally, Obama declared, "I am not king. I can't do these things just by myself." In March 2011, he said that with "respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that's just not the case." In May 2011, he acknowledged that he couldn't "just bypass Congress and change the (immigration) law myself. ... That's not how a democracy works."

    Yet in 2012, he did it anyway. He put DACA in place to provide pseudo-legal status to illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as minors, including as teenagers. He promised them that they wouldn't be deported and provided them with work authorizations and access to Social Security and other government benefits.

    And he did this despite the fact that the immigration laws passed by Congress do not give the president the ability to do this. Indeed, Congress specifically rejected bills to provide such benefits."

  • Waitjustaminute
    May 17, 2019 at 2:23 p.m.

    GLH: "By the way, two judges ruled against you."
    Congrats, you win the 'smartass of the day award.' Yet you ignore that liberal activist judges make stuff up all the time. It doesn't make them legally correct. Do some research into how many times Obama won in the lower courts and then lost before the Supreme Court - unanimously on several occasions.

    May 17, 2019 at 2:23 p.m.

    If Obama created it with an Executive Order -- another President ought to be able to change that order with another Executive Order. DACA was never law - and, it was supposed to be temporary.
    The next lawsuit should be to challenge the creation of DACA - stating that Obama didn't consider what would happen when it ended.
    I am NOT saying that the DACA people should be kicked out - I am saying that there should be a new program to end the temp status and settle those 'kids' into the US - IF they wish to be on a citizenship path. If not - gone.

  • Waitjustaminute
    May 17, 2019 at 2:34 p.m.

    MBAIV, I agree that something needs to be done for them. When Obama enacted DACA, it was intended to be a temporary fix until Congress passed something. Yet here we are seven years later, with no permanent solution.
    Some have made a good argument that DACA has led to the surge of illegal immigration by unaccompanied minors, and by adults bringing kids along as a way to get around the law; another example of the "law of unintended consequences."
    It's time to force Congress to come up with a permanent fix.

  • Waitjustaminute
    May 17, 2019 at 2:38 p.m.

    From Michael McConnell, director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School:

    Question: What are the potential legal actions that might be taken at this point, if any, regarding DACA?

    Answer: Creative lawyers may come up with a challenge to President Trump’s revocation of DACA, but it is hard to imagine what it would be based on. That is one problem with unilateral executive action. What is done by one president by the stroke of a pen can be undone by the next president.

    Question: President Obama’s lawyers defended his actions as an exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Why was that not correct, or was it?

    Answer: The DACA and DAPA orders went well beyond the exercise of prosecutorial discretion. They purported to give their beneficiaries a form of lawful presence, entitling them to work permits and a variety of government benefits. Prosecutorial discretion means the executive will not take legal action against a law breaker in a particular case; it does not make the conduct lawful. So the answer: No.

  • Waitjustaminute
    May 17, 2019 at 2:41 p.m.

    Professor McConnell said "Creative lawyers may come up with a challenge to President Trump’s revocation of DACA, but it is hard to imagine what it would be based on."

    Back to my response to GLH, it's based on liberal judges making s**t up. That would have been a better headline for this article: 'Federal Appeals Court Makes S**t Up to Protect DACA'