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Judge Rules Biden’s DACA Program Unlawful

Temporary Preservation of Program Benefits Hundreds of Thousands of Undocumented Immigrant Youth in the U.S.


WASHINGTON, DC- A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is once again considered unlawful, rejecting a revised version of the policy that has shielded hundreds of thousands of young individuals from deportation.

Judge Andrew Hanen, presiding over the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, declared that recent efforts by the Biden administration to preserve and formalize the Obama-era program as a federal regulation were illegal. Hanen, who has previously ruled against DACA, maintained in his verdict that the program could continue temporarily, but new applicants would still be unable to apply.

“While understanding the challenges faced by DACA recipients and their families, this Court has consistently raised concerns regarding the program’s legal standing,” Hanen stated. “The Executive Branch cannot supersede the authority vested in Congress by the Constitution, even in response to a legislative gap.”

The Biden administration expressed its profound disappointment with the ruling in a statement on Wednesday night.

“Throughout this Administration, hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have been able to live and work lawfully in our country without the fear of deportation,” noted White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “As we have consistently maintained, we disagree with the District Court’s determination that DACA is unlawful and will persist in defending this vital policy against legal challenges.”

Seven Republican-leaning states, suing to terminate DACA, argue that the updated program was improperly implemented and represented an overreach of executive authority. They contend that they have suffered financial losses due to the presence of immigrants who were allowed to remain in the country without legal authorization.

Established in 2012 by the Obama administration, the DACA program safeguards certain young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation.

In 2021, Judge Hanen ruled that DACA was unlawful since it had not been established through the formal agency rulemaking process.

In response to ongoing legal disputes, the Biden administration took steps last year to fortify and safeguard the DACA program and its beneficiaries by issuing the final version of a rule aimed at formalizing it.

The Biden administration is highly likely to appeal the decision, and experts anticipate that the case will eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.



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