Washington DC federal judge Bates ruled Friday that the Trump administration must restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, strongly criticizing the president's justification of the program's cancellation.
Bates issued a 25-page opinion noting that the White House failed to provide legal justification for the program's cancellation, under which some 800,000 people brought into the US illegally as children are granted work permission and protection from deportation.
Trump's justification to cancel the program was "arbitrary and capricious" and used a legal justification that is "inadequately explained," Bates wrote.
In any case, regardless of whether the Trump administration will attempt to stay with its original intention to rescind the program or take any other action, the White House must "give a rational explanation for its decision."
In April, Bates gave the Trump administration 90 days to restart the program, making the former the third federal judge to oppose the president's DACA cancellation, New York Magazine reported. However, Bates stayed his own ruling in order to give the White House a chance to present a "legally sound reason" as to why the program is in violation of US law.
In January, California District Judge William Alsup also ruled that the Trump administration must renew processing of existing DACA applications, although the ruling did not compel the White House to take new applications.
In February, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn echoed the previous ruling, adding additional reasoning as to why the Obama-era program must remain, the New York Times reported.