Federal judge rules again that DACA program is illegal

Dreamers are an American protest

A federal judge ruled again Wednesday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is illegal, throwing out a revised version of the policy that has protected hundreds of thousands of young people from deportation.

Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas said the Biden administration’s recent efforts to preserve and codify the Obama-era program in federal regulation were unlawful. Hanen, who spoke out against DACA previously said in its decision that the program would be allowed to continue, for now, but that new applicants would still not be able to apply.

“While sympathetic to the plight of DACA recipients and their families, this Court has for some time expressed concerns about the legality of the program,” Hanen wrote. “The executive branch cannot usurp the power given to Congress by the Constitution, even to fill a vacuum. »

The Biden administration said in a statement Wednesday evening that it was “deeply disappointed” by the decision.

“Under this administration, hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have been able to live and work legally in our country without fear of deportation,” wrote White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “As we have long maintained, we disagree with the district court’s conclusion that DACA is unlawful, and we will continue to defend this critical policy against legal challenges.”

The seven Republican-leaning states suing to end DACA argue that the updated program was implemented illegally and amounts to executive overreach. They say they continue to suffer financial losses due to the presence of immigrants allowed to stay in the country without legal authorization.

THE DACA This program, created in 2012 by the Obama administration, protects from deportation certain young people brought to the United States illegally as children.

in 2021, Judge Hanen governed that DACA was illegal because it was not created through the agency’s formal rulemaking process.

Last year, in response to ongoing legal challenges, the Biden administration took steps to consolidate and protect the DACA program and its beneficiaries by issuing the final version of a rule to codify it.

The Biden administration will almost certainly appeal the decision, and experts expect the case to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

For more information, Boundless has developed a collection of useful guides and resources on the program.

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