Judge Michael P. Hogan of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the administration’s DACA “watered down” plan was unconstitutional.
The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by DREAMers in April 2018 that challenged the DACA plan as a “discriminatory, unconstitutionally vague, and overly broad” program.
The administration argued that the program was “broad” in that it allowed anyone to apply for a deferred action program, a status that allows them to avoid deportation.
But Hogan said that in the long run, it would not matter if the program “was not broad enough to cover everyone” because, as a practical matter, it was already broadly applicable.
He found that the DACA program “is not narrowly tailored to protect against specific threats to national security.”
In a footnote to his ruling, Hogan wrote that the Trump administration “is entitled to deference in the interpretation of its immigration and national security policies, including the DACA statute.”
The DACA program is set to expire on Sept. 5, 2019.
Trump had said in the presidential campaign that he would rescind DACA if Congress failed to act.
Trump has also repeatedly said he would not extend the DACA protections until he can find a “better” way to “secure our border.”
His immigration enforcement crackdown in recent weeks has been aimed at the DACA recipients and the families who depend on them.