Federal Judge Calls Trump’s Decision to Terminate DACA “Arbitrary and Capricious”

April 25th, 2018

Administration has 90 days to appeal, or DACA will resume and first time applicants can apply

NEW YORK, NYLate last night, a DC federal judge ruled that the Trump administration’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was “arbitrary and capricious,” and failed to explain why the program was in fact unlawful.

The Department of Homeland Security has 90 days to come up with sufficient legal reasons to justify terminating DACA. If they do not, the program will resume and first time applicants can begin applying again.

Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:

"The courts have now ruled in favor of Dreamers and against the Trump administration three times. When will Trump get the message that there is no legitimate rationale for deporting 800,000 young Americans? We urge the Court to uphold this decision and allow young Dreamers, many of whom are under the age of 16, to apply for DACA, receive a work permit and live free from fear. While this decision may provide some welcome temporary relief, we will not stop until Trump restores DACA and Congress finally passes a clean DREAM Act."

Legal service providers will know more in 90 days, but as of today, there is nothing to apply for. For up-to-date information, please continue to check www.nyic.org/daca.


Seven months ago, President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and designated March 5th, 2018 to begin phasing out the program.

Although the administration wanted to go straight to the US Supreme Court to overturn two previous district court judges’ decisions that ruled against terminating DACA, the Supreme Court rejected that attempt on February 26th. As a result, the lower court’s decision remained, maintaining that anyone who has had DACA at any time could either renew or re-apply to the program, while barring new applicants.

Over fifty percent of DACA recipients under the age of 25 are on track to receive a bachelor’s degree, and in total, over ninety percent of DACA recipients are employed. In the next 10 years, the country stands to lose $460.3 billion in GDP if DACA is ended without a legislative solution. In New York alone, there are 115,000 Dream Act-eligible individuals in the workforce who would add a projected $1.75 billion to the state GDP annually over ten years.

In the aftermath of the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on September 5th, the New York Immigration Coalition led a 4,000 person rally at Foley Square and has provided free legal services for DACA recipients.