Another Court Has Ruled Against Trump’s Attempt to End Protections for Dreamers

The appeals court found that the administration acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner.

Ting Shen/ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

A second federal appeals court has ruled against the Trump administration’s attempt to revoke protections against deportation for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, who are known as Dreamers.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that the Trump administration had ended the program in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner. The Ninth Circuit came to a similar conclusion in November.

From a legal perspective, Friday’s decision is not particularly significant since previous court decisions already blocked the administration from ending protections for roughly 700,000 Dreamers. But it is yet another sign of how Trump’s rush to punish undocumented immigrants led him to run afoul of the law and undermine his own enforcement agenda.

In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration was cancelling Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era program that protected Dreamers. Courts quickly ruled that the administration did not have the authority abruptly end DACA, and forced the government to continue to let Dreamers to renew their temporary work permits under the program.

The DACA case is expected to be taken up by the Supreme Court, likely in the new term that begins in October. For Dreamers, that could make the outcome of the 2020 presidential election particularly important. DACA-recipients can currently renew two-year permits, meaning that they can receive protection beyond Trump’s first term. A Democratic president would almost certainly undo Trump’s decision to end the program.

Read the ruling below:


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend