Jenner & Block

Judge Holds that Government Failed to Rationalize Decision to Rescind DACA

The firm earned another victory in its effort to compel the US government to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  A DC federal judge recently held that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) failed to adequately rationalize its decision to roll back DACA.  In his ruling, US District Judge John D. Bates gave the government 20 days to decide whether to appeal before he officially blocks DACA’s rescission.

The DACA program offers renewable two-year grants of deportation protection to undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.  Last fall, the government announced it was rolling back the program.  In response, the firm filed suit on behalf of Microsoft Corp, Princeton University and a Princeton student who is a DACA beneficiary.

In April, Judge Bates gave the DHS 90 days to clarify its reasoning for rescinding DACA or else the program would continue.  In June, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen responded with a three-page memo.

But on August 3, 2018, Judge Bates held that the DHS’ “hodgepodge of illogical” assertions in the memo “simply will not do.”  Judge Bates wrote that the memo gave “almost no meaningful elaboration” as to why DACA was unlawful. 

Led by Partners Lindsay C. Harrison and Thomas J. Perrelli, the team included Partners Ishan K. Bhabha and Sam Hirsch and Associates Benjamin M Eidelson, Alex S. Trepp, Kendall Turner and Jennifer J. Yun.