Trump administration must accept new DACA applications, judge orders

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Protesters in Washington, D.C., gathered in November 2019 as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the Trump administration's efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters

EL PASO — A federal judge ruled Friday that the Trump administration must start accepting new applications for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that shields some undocumented immigrants from deportation.

The decision comes four weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the 2012 initiative to remain in place. The policy, known as DACA, has protected more than 130,000 Texans from deportation since its inception, the second-highest total of any state after California. As of December 2019, there were about 107,000 Texans with DACA permits, according to federal statistics.

The DACA program applies to undocumented immigrants who came to the country before they were 16 and who were 30 or younger as of June 2012. The program gave them a renewable, two-year work permit and a reprieve from deportation.