US & Canada

Daca: Trump administration ordered to resume young immigrant scheme

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Media captionDaca recipients: 'Life in the US is like a rollercoaster'

A third US federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to restore a programme letting young undocumented immigrants stay in the country.

US District of Columbia judge John Bates said the move to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) scheme was "virtually unexplained".

Judge Bates has given the administration 90 days to justify the move before his ruling is implemented.

The move follows similar decisions from judges in New York and San Francisco.

US President Donald Trump rescinded the Obama-era Daca programme, which protects some 800,000 people in the country, in September and had said he wanted to scrap it from March this year.

The scheme is currently closed to new entrants but existing members may renew their benefits while the programme remains in place as legal challenges play out.

How was Trump overruled?

Judge Bates ruled that the decision to cancel the scheme was "arbitrary and capricious" because the administration had "failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the programme was unlawful".

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Image caption Some 800,000 people benefit from the Daca scheme

Two other federal judges also recently ordered the Trump administration to process Daca renewal applications under the same terms that applied before the president's September order.

But it is the first time a federal judge has ruled that applications by individuals who did not previously receive protection under the scheme must be processed.

Mr Trump has said the programme is being misused by a growing number of illegal migrants and accused Mexico of being lax about border security.

He called on Republicans in Congress to pass "tough" new anti-immigration legislation.

What is Daca?

The scheme was created in 2012 by then President Barack Obama to shield children of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

It also provided work and study permits for those it covered.

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Media captionThe missing - consequences of Trump's immigration crackdown

In order to qualify for Daca, applicants under the age of 30 were required to submit personal information to the Department of Homeland Security, including addresses and phone numbers.

They had to pass an FBI background check, have a clean criminal background and either be in school, have recently graduated or have been honourably discharged from the military.

In exchange, the US government agreed to defer any action on their immigration status for a period of two years.

The majority of "dreamers" are from Mexico and other Latin American countries.

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