Judge declares DACA immigration program illegal once again

Washington, Sept 13 (EFE).- A federal judge in Texas on Wednesday rejected an appeal by President Joe Biden’s administration and again declared the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program illegal, although declining to order its immediate end.

Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas extended an existing injunction against DACA that prohibits the government from approving new applications, but maintains protections for current recipients during the ongoing legal review.

DACA is an immigration policy intended to benefit undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, known as Dreamers.

Its recipients receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and are eligible for work permits, but it does not provide a path to citizenship.

As of the end of March, 578,680 people were enrolled in DACA, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

“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.

“The solution for these deficiencies lies with the legislature, not the executive or judicial branches,” he said.

The judge said the original memorandum was unlawfully promulgated and the Biden administration was simply trying to formalize a program that he himself had already declared irregular in 2021.

“There is no material difference” between the document that created the DACA program in 2012, under the administration of former Democratic President Barack Obama (2009-2017), and the one submitted by the current administration last year, Hanen insisted.

DACA was created by the Obama administration as a temporary measure, but Republican Donald Trump (2017-2021) decided to end it in his first year in office, triggering a domino effect of lawsuits and countersuits in the courts that led to the current situation.

President Joe Biden and advocacy groups have called on Congress to pass an immigration plan for dreamers, but Congress has repeatedly failed to pass proposals.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), which intervened in the lawsuit to defend DACA, has already said it will appeal today’s decision.

From the beginning of Texas’ ill-considered lawsuit, it was clear that higher courts, including the Supreme Court, would have to ultimately decide” on the legality of the program,” said Thomas A. Sanez, president of MALDEF, in a written statement.EFE


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