Federal court restores DACA after Supreme Court ruling

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FILE – In this Nov. 12, 2019, file photo people rally outside the Supreme Court as oral arguments are heard in the case of President Trump’s decision to end the Obama-era, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), at the Supreme Court in Washington. DACA recipients are assuming a prominent role in the presidential campaign, working to get others to vote, even though they cannot cast ballots themselves, and becoming leaders in the Democratic campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Tom Steyer as well as get-out-the-vote organizations. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — A federal court in Maryland on Friday ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program must be restored fully, meaning it must open up to new applicants for the first time in three years.

The program allows immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children but who lack legal status to legally work and protects them from deportation.

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that President Donald Trump didn’t properly end the program in 2017. Immigration attorneys argued that meant the Trump administration had to start accepting new applications, but it doesn’t appear to have done so yet. Trump can still end the program.

Roughly 650,000 people are enrolled in DACA, but only those who were already in the program when it ended have been able to renew.

The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, estimates an additional 66,000 young immigrants now meet the minimum age requirement of 15 years to apply for DACA and would be eligible under the restored program.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it is reviewing the ruling.

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