Federal judge, John Bates, ruled on Tuesday that protections for the children of undocumented immigrants must remain in place and that the Trump administration must resume taking applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The ruling comes as a blow to President Donald Trump’s efforts to end the program, which was created by an executive order from former President Barack Obama in 2012.
The Trump administration announced plans to rescind the program in September 2017 and ultimately terminated the program in March. The current administration argued that Obama unlawfully used his executive power to circumvent Congress in creating the program.
In December 2016, the Student Government Association (SGA) passed a resolution calling on the University to become a sanctuary campus, preventing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers from entering campus without permission.
SGA compiled a list of resources available to students for what it called “both support and advocacy.” They pledged support to protect undocumented students on campus.
“We urge you to stand up and fight for the rights of our fellow students who are affected by the loss of DACA,” SGA wrote in an email to the student body. “It is paramount that we not only stand in solidarity with them, but also protect them.”
University President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sunil Kumar issued a statement later that month affirming the University’s support of DACA.
Daniels and Kumar promised to provide aid to students in emergency cases. They added that law enforcement officials would not be permitted to enter campus without a valid warrant or court order and that information about the immigration status of Hopkins affiliates would be kept confidential unless the law required it to be shared.
After the announcement in September, Daniels and Kumar released another statement affirming the University’s support of DACA.
According to a report in the New York Times, Bates said that rescinding the program was “arbitrary and capricious because the department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”
Bates gave the Department of Justice 90 days to better explain their decision to end the program. If it fails to do so, it must resume the program and begin accepting new applications.