Federal judge blocks new DACA applications

A federal judge in Texas ruled on Friday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is illegal and blocked the Biden administration from granting new applications.

The program began in 2012 during the Obama administration to shield illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from deportation. Although Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling would bar future DACA applicants from admission, it does not immediately cancel current permits for the approximately 635,000 people protected under the program as of Dec. 31, 2020.

Hanen, a George W. Bush appointee known for his tough stance on immigration, ruled the Department of Homeland Security violated the Administrative Procedure Act by creating the policy and found it was illegally implemented. However, DHS can continue to accept applications.

In granting a request by Texas and other GOP-led states, the judge underscored his recognition that current DACA enrollees are dependent on the program’s benefits, such as work permits and deferral from deportation.

“That reliance has not diminished and may, in fact, have increased over time,” Hanen wrote.


Approximately 50,000 applications were filed after the program reopened in December.

Several pro-immigrant advocacy groups released statements on Friday condemning the ruling.

“This ruling is wrong and is subject to appeal,” the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a statement.

FWD.us called the ruling “deeply disappointing” and said, “Tens of thousands of Dreamers across the country will be blocked from DACA protections and from the ability to work legally in this country.”

“Today makes absolutely clear: only a permanent legislative solution passed by Congress will eliminate the fear and uncertainty that DACA recipients have been forced to live with for years,” FWD.us wrote in its statement.

Former President Donald Trump was adamant about discontinuing the program, but the Supreme Court ruled in the summer of 2020 that his administration could not immediately proceed with its plan to discontinue the program. Biden issued a memo one day after his inauguration in January in favor of preserving DACA.

Opponents of the program argued the DACA program was illegal and an example of executive overreach. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton touted in a tweet Friday in response to the ruling, saying the Republican Party “defeats Biden Administration – AGAIN – on illegal immigration.”


Proponents of DACA have said a ruling against the program could force Congress to act on policy securing a pathway to citizenship. Democrats are planning to include immigration measures as part of a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill likely to be met with contention by Senate Republicans.

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Tags: News, DACA, Texas, Judge, Court, Immigration, Law

Original Author: Kaelan Deese

Original Location: Federal judge blocks new DACA applications

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