U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled for the second time on Wednesday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program is illegal, likely sending it to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In his 40-page ruling Wednesday, Hanen said there were “no material differences” between the program he declared illegal in 2021 and changes made to it by President Joe Biden’s administration, The New York Times reported.
The program, established with an executive order by then-President Barack Obama in 2012, was challenged in court by Texas and eight other states for “circumventing” the congressional lawmaking process causing them harm and leading Hanen to rule it unconstitutional in 2021, and then again on Wednesday.
Known as “Dreamers,” those enrolled in the program are allowed to stay in the United States without fear of deportation provided they meet several criteria for the program, including being under the age of 31, have a clean criminal record, and being in the United States without legal immigration status as of June 15, 2012, among other qualifications, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
NBC DFW reported 578,680 people were enrolled in the program as of March.
Despite Wednesday’s ruling, which the Biden administration is likely to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Hanen said the government could process applicants who received their initial DACA status prior to his July 16, 2021 ruling vacating the program and renew their applications, but the Department of Homeland Security cannot grant new applications.
“To be clear, neither this supplemental order of injunction nor the memorandum and order that accompanies it requires DHS or the Department of Justice to take any immigration, deportation, or criminal action against any DACA recipient, applicant, or any other individual that would otherwise be taken,” Hanen wrote in the order.
The Hill reported that Hanen expressed his acknowledgment of the “predicament” in which the program’s participants find themselves in relation to the court actions, but also said it was up to Congress to deal with the issue.
“While sympathetic to the predicament of DACA recipients and their families, this court has expressed its concerns about the legality of the program for some time,” Hanen wrote in the ruling. “The solution for these deficiencies lies with the legislature, not the executive or judicial branches. Congress, for any number of reasons, has decided not to pass DACA-like legislation.”
Charles Kim ✉
Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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