Because of the verdict, the program will continue to operate normally for the time being for the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.
Even though the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was found to be unlawful by a federal judge in Texas on Wednesday, the program has been preserved for the time being for the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States when they were minors.
A coalition of states led by Republicans challenged the effort made by the Biden administration to finalize a rule to codify the DACA policy implemented during the Obama administration into a federal regulation last year. They urged U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas to terminate the program in its entirety over the course of two years. Hanen granted their request.
On Wednesday, as was to be expected, Hanen issued a ruling declaring the endeavor by the Biden administration to be unconstitutional. However, he refrained from terminating the program and maintained the status quo for those who are currently receiving DACA.
More than 580,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States when they were children are eligible for work permits and reprieve from deportation thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which has been in effect for more than a decade. The most recent decision made by Hanen brings the matter one step closer to the Supreme Court, where campaigners and legal experts warn that the conservative bench is likely to deem the program illegal if it is brought before them.
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, expressed his “deep disappointment” in the decision made on Wednesday. He cited his role in the implementation of the final rule as well as his tenure as the Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2012, during which he was responsible for leading the establishment of DACA.
The decision maintains the stay, which indicates that current DACA recipients will not lose their protection from removal as a result of the verdict. However, this verdict does put at risk the safety and stability of over half a million Dreamers who have made valuable contributions to our communities. They have never lived anywhere else; the United States has always been their home. “Because Congress has not taken any action, Dreamers are now facing an uncertain future while they wait to receive the permanent protection they deserve,” Mayorkas said in a statement.
In a late-night statement, the press secretary for the White House, Karine Jean-Pierre, also voiced her disagreement with the verdict and referred to efforts made by President Joe Biden to safeguard and defend the program against legal action. Additionally, she reiterated the White House’s request that Congress extend permanent protection for individuals referred to as “Dreamers.”
Despite the comprehensive notice-and-comment procedure that the government took through, Hanen came to the stark conclusion that the Department of Homeland Security hadn’t really modified the program at all. Hanen is a judge who has frequently ruled against past versions of DACA.
“DHS did nothing to change or resolve the substantive problems found by this Court or the Fifth Circuit,” Hanen said in a 40-page judgment about the case.
Hanen, who was appointed to his position by former President George W. Bush, stated unequivocally that the DACA rule proposed by the Biden administration improperly usurps the jurisdiction of Congress, just as the previous proposal proposed by former President Barack Obama in 2012 did.
According to what the court has written, “DHS views the immigration system instituted by Congress as faulty,” and because of this, “it is instituting its own solution, regardless of the dictates of Congress.”
Hanen rejected the suggestion that he should eliminate that component of the DACA program if he was concerned about the work permits that were provided to the majority of DACA recipients. This suggestion was made by the administration of Vice President Joe Biden.
Nevertheless, the judge gave off the impression that he was anxious about the possibility that his decision could result in the deportation of DACA recipients. He emphasized in both his new opinion and an order that was connected to it that he is not directing the detention or removal of anyone and that the Department of Homeland Security personnel will continue to make such judgments.
The initial DACA program, which was launched by Obama in 2012, did not meet any significant legal challenges at the time of its establishment. However, in 2015, Hanen barred an expansion of the program in response to a lawsuit by states governed by Republicans. In 2016, the Supreme Court was unable to reach a decision on the matter, which effectively halted the expansion while allowing the original program to continue.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been allowed to continue operating despite efforts by the administration of President Donald Trump to terminate it. In the year 2020, the Supreme Court issued an unexpected judgement in which it found that the effort by Trump administration officials to abolish the program was constitutionally unsound. The ruling was reached by a vote count of 5-4.
As a direct result of that ruling, red states began to target the initial DACA program, which prompted Hanen to find that plan to be illegal. Throughout it all, the judge let current DACA recipients to renew their work permits and protection from deportation for a period of two years. On the other hand, the program is no longer accepting new participants as of the year 2021.
Following a string of legal setbacks, the administration of Joe Biden attempted to shore up support for the program by drafting formal regulations that would govern the initiative in 2021 and soliciting public feedback on those regulations. This was done in response to criticism from certain quarters that earlier iterations of the initiative sidestepped the typical policymaking procedures of the federal government.
Permanent residency is something that can only be granted by Congress to DACA recipients, and immigration groups have been pushing for lawmakers to act on this issue for years. On Wednesday, the advocacy organization FWD.us criticized Hanen’s decision, describing it as a “predictable” yet “devastating blow.”
“We will continue to fight for the president to provide additional protections and for Congress to enact the legislative solution that all Dreamers deserve,” the organization stated, referring to young people who were brought into the United States but have remained without legal status. “Dreamers” is an acronym for “young people who were brought into the United States and have remained without legal status.” “In the meantime, it is important that current DACA recipients are aware that DACA renewals as well as programs like Advance Parole remain in place, and we strongly encourage everyone who is eligible to make use of these resources.”
In addition, a number of Democratic members of Congress released statements in response to the judgment.
DACA recipients “can’t keep living in legal limbo,” according to Democratic Representative Chuy Garcia of Illinois. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) called the verdict “outrageous” and “utterly wrong,” while Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), who co-reintroduced the Dream Act earlier this year with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), stated that Congress had “failed to finish the job.”
“Dreamers are protected from deportation for the time being,” said Durbin, “but due to lawsuits by extreme MAGA Republicans, their fates continue to hang in the balance and an untold number of Dreamers have been unable to enroll in the program for years.” “Dreamers are protected from deportation for the time being.” “It is time for Congress to take responsibility and fulfill our obligations to Dreamers once and for all. I have hope that we, as lawmakers, will be able to fulfill our responsibility to find a solution to this issue and enact the Dream Act, and not just for the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers who are currently in the world but also for the future of our nation.
It is anticipated that the administration of Vice President Joe Biden would file an appeal of the decision that was handed down on Wednesday. However, the review of Hanen’s judgement will be conducted by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has already ruled that the original DACA program was unlawful.