Federal judge rules DACA illegal, orders Biden to halt program acceptances
A federal judge ruled Thursday that the Biden administration must halt all applications for the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program.
“President Obama abdicated his responsibility to uphold the United States Constitution when he attempted to circumvent the laws passed by Congress via executive fiat,” Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX), who filed the suit on behalf of Texas and 26 other states, said. “Judge Hanen’s decision rightly stops the president’s overreach in its tracks. We live in a nation governed by a system of checks and balances, and the President’s attempt to bypass the will of the American people was successfully checked today.”
In a 123-page opinion, United States District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that the Department of Homeland Security violated the American Procedure Act (APA) by creating the policy. Hanen found that DACA was implemented illegally by the Obama administration and ordered the DHS to stop approving applications. However, he added that his ruling does not affect the status of any current DACA recipients.
“DACA would grant lawful presence and work authorization to over a million people for whom Congress has made no provision and has consistently refused to make such a provision,” Hanen, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote.
DACA, created in 2012, aimed to provide temporary reprieve for children – often called ‘Dreamers’ – who were brought to the country illegally. However, the program has since become massive and grants legal protection to over 700,000 people. Republicans have historically claimed the program was illegally created, and former President Donald Trump attempted to repeal it.
“We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties,” Trump said at a campaign event in 2016. “[Obama] defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants.”
In 2019, Trump proposed limited legal protections for DACA recipients in exchange for money to build his border wall. Democrats quickly shut down the proposal, calling it ‘unacceptable.’ Since then, progressives in Congress have attempted to protect the program legislatively, although nothing has come to fruition.
Democrats and progressives slammed Hanen’s ruling, with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) calling it ‘terrible.’
“This is a terrible decision that leaves too many Dreamers and their families without the protection they deserve,” Gillibrand tweeted. “Enough is enough – it’s time to pass a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and undocumented immigrants now.”
Kirsten Gillibrand@SenGillibrand·19hThis is a terrible decision that leaves too many Dreamers and their families without the protection they deserve. Enough is enough — it’s time to pass a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and undocumented immigrants now.
Other progressive groups have also gotten involved in urging Congress to pass legislation to protect DACA recipients and their families.
“Judge Hanen’s rash decision to suspend the DACA program reiterates the immediate need for Congress AND the Biden administration to keep their promise and create a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented people in the U.S.,” the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services tweeted.
RAICES@RAICESTEXAS·21hJudge Hanen’s rash decision to suspend the DACA program reiterates the immediate need for Congress AND the Biden administration to keep their promise and create a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented people in the U.S.
According to a Rasmussen poll conducted in early July, 49% of likely voters believe securing control of the United States border to stop illegal immigration is more important than creating a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. A second Rasmussen poll found that 42% disagree and believe a pathway to citizenship is more important.