The federal judge who blocked President Trump from eliminating a program that protects nearly 700,000 young immigrants from deportation issued a follow-up ruling Friday saying the lawsuits challenging the president’s order can seek to prove discrimination, based on Trump’s disparaging comments about Latinos.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup of San Francisco issued a nationwide injunction Tuesday preserving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, while suits against its repeal continue.

The program allows youths who entered the United States without documentation before age 16, and who had attended school or served in the military and had no serious criminal record, to obtain renewable two-year reprieves from deportation and work permits.

Trump announced in September that he would abolish DACA in March unless Congress passed it as a law. In his Tuesday ruling, Alsup said Trump had offered “no reasoned explanation” for his action and had no basis for his assertion that former President Barack Obama had acted illegally in a 2012 order establishing the program.

In Friday’s order, Alsup dismissed some claims in the lawsuits — that a repeal would violate the constitutional rights of DACA recipients, and that the public was entitled to advance notice and an opportunity to comment on the repeal. He said a new administration can change an earlier immigration policy, as long as it follows legal procedures, and noted that Obama had not provided notice and a comment period before launching the program.

But the judge reiterated his previous assessment that the plaintiffs were likely to show that Trump’s action was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law” because he offered no plausible rationale to show a repeal was in the national interest. And Alsup also refused to dismiss a claim that Trump was violating DACA recipients’ constitutional right to equal protection of the law.

Latinos make up 93 percent of DACA recipients, Alsup said, and some of Trump’s statements might be used to show a racial motivation. He cited the presidential candidate’s charge in 2015 that Mexican immigrants are “drug dealers, rapists and killers,” his assertion during a Republican debate that the Mexican government was sending “the bad ones” to the U.S., and his description in August of undocumented immigrants as “animals.”

Although judges should be cautious in considering campaign rhetoric as evidence of presidential motives, Alsup said, they need not disregard “clear-cut indications of racial prejudice on the campaign trail.”

Bob Egelko is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @egelko

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