A federal judge
ruled Friday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
program, which allows undocumented immigrants
brought to the United States
to remain in the country, is illegal and must be terminated.
In his decision, Judge Andrew Hanen ordered President Joe Biden
's administration to stop approving new DACA
requests from such immigrants, known as "Dreamers
," upending the Obama-era policy that Biden had only recently reinstated.
The decision by Hanen, an appointee of former President George W. Bush known for his harsh immigration
rulings, has no effect on current DACA recipients or their ability to renew their DACA grants.
In his ruling, he called DACA an “illegally implemented program” and stated that “the public interest of the nation is always served by the cessation of a program that was created in violation of law
and whose continued existence violates the law.”
Hanen also claims that the presence of DACA recipients “contributes to a more competitive labor
market, making it more difficult for legal residents of Texas to obtain work
.” However, economists have long claimed that there is no evidence of such a problem, and DACA recipients may even benefit the economy
because they are likely to work in higher-skilled jobs
DACA was established by President Barack Obama
in June 2012, and it has survived multiple legal challenges as well as President Donald Trump
's attempt to end it. It is open to undocumented young people
who arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, when the program was established.
There are over 616,000 current DACA recipients who will not be affected by the decision, but many others who are already eligible but have yet to apply, as well as those who are aging
into the program, will be.
According to studies, DACA recipients were able to get better jobs, start their own businesses, buy cars and houses, and much more as a result of the policy, which made them eligible for work permits and deportation reprieve.
Immigration activists reacted angrily to Friday's decision, claiming that DACA protections should be enshrined in law rather than being left to the courts.
“This ruling is wrong and may be appealed, but Dreamers’ futures should not be in the hands of the courts,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union
’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, in a statement
That sentiment was echoed by the president of FWD.us, another immigration advocacy group.
proves unequivocally that only a permanent legislative solution passed by Congress
will end the fear and uncertainty that DACA recipients have had to live with for years.”