Just when I thought nothing on the immigration front will happen for the rest of the year, the good lawyers at NILC (National Immigration Law Center) have scored a small but important victory for immigrant youth.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that the government can’t use a set of facts to justify a decision that affects hundreds of thousands of people and then keep those facts secret.
Background: National Immigration Law Center, along with Yale Law School and Make the Road New York, filed a lawsuit against the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September. The organizations alleged that the decision was arbitrary, did not follow adequate procedures, and was discriminatory.
This thread by lawyer Josh Rosenthal explains today’s decision:
2d Cir Ct of Appeals just issued in order that rejecting the feds' attempt to withhold documents showing the reasons for the decision to end #daca 1/9
— Josh Rosenthal (@jarosenthal) December 27, 2017
As expected, the Trump administration defended itself, stating that the government is entitled to choose what documents to show the courts, blocking the view of the internal conversations and decision-making process.
Today the court said the administration needs to show all documents related to the decision.
Lawyers participating in the lawsuit stated that the law requires federal agencies to show documentation for all kinds of actions (unless it is classified information, which the DACA decision is not).
Plaintiffs in the District Court also identified materials missing from the government’s records during the presentation of the case.
Today’s decision is a win for transparency and a small victory for DACA-DREAMers, who are fighting the fight for their lives and are pressuring Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act.