Fourth Circuit Appeals Court Rules Trump’s Decision to End DACA was Unlawful

DACA/Dreamers rally
Credits: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful, according to the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Virginia.

In September last year, the Trump administration announced its decision to rescind the DACA program, which protects approximately 800,000 Dreamers from deportation.

Dreamers and their advocates filed lawsuits challenging its decision. They argued that the government violated the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and common law principles of estoppel.

Trump administration’s decision to rescind the DACA was “arbitrary and capricious”

In its ruling on Friday, the appeals court stated that the Trump administration failed to provide adequate explanation for its decision to rescind the DACA program. Therefore, its decision was “arbitrary and capricious,” a violation of the APA.

The Trump administration’s lawyers argued ending the DACA program was an agency decision. Publishing a notice for public comments is not required under the APA. The appeals court agreed with their argument, but concluded that the government still violated the federal law.