A federal judge said he is considering ordering the Department of Homeland Security to revive the “Dreamers” program Wednesday, according to The Washington Post. U.S. District Judge John Bates discussed restarting the program after hearing arguments in a lawsuit brought by Microsoft, Princeton University, and a student over the program which allows undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the country.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that President Donald Trump’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program violates the Constitution and federal law.
In September 2017, Trump announced he would let DACA expire the following March but federal district judges in California and New York issued nationwide injunctions that require the program to remain intact. Under those orders, the federal government must continue to accept DACA renewals but isn’t required to accept new applicants into the program.
The ruling Bates is considering would go further, ordering the government to restart the program and accept new applications.
The tech industry largely opposes the decision to end DACA, with companies filing friend of the court briefs and speaking out on behalf of the 800,000 or so immigrants protected by the program. Microsoft has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the decision.
“It is important, in part, because we have 44 employees that are registered under DACA,” Microsoft President Brad Smith told GeekWire in October. “They are important to our company. They’re important to our customers. They’re emblematic of the 800,000 people who are covered by DACA. It’s a humanitarian issue. It’s an economic issue. It’s a business issue and we want our employees to know that we have their back.”