- DACA was declared illegal.
- Protections for existing beneficiaries.
- The future of the DACA program is uncertain.
A decision was announced that could have a significant impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States as children.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen declared a revised version of the federal policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to be illegal.
However, in a surprising turn, the judge declined to order an immediate end to the program and the protections it offers to its recipients.
It is worth mentioning that the controversy over DACA persists and Hanen’s ruling increases uncertainty for the ‘Dreamers’.
DACA is declared illegal
Texas, along with eight other states, filed the lawsuit seeking to end the DACA program, according to The Associated Press.
Judge Hanen, in his ruling, agreed with these states, representing a significant setback for DACA advocates and the immigrants who depend on it.
It is expected that the judge’s ruling will be appealed to the US Supreme Court, marking the third time the fate of DACA would be debated in the high court.
This prolonged legal uncertainty has generated anxiety and concern among DACA recipients, who live with the constant threat of deportation.
Good news for Dreamers
Hanen’s order, while declaring the revised version of DACA illegal, keeps the program intact for existing recipients during the ongoing legal review.
This decision provides temporary relief for Dreamers, who will not face the immediate loss of their protections.
However, Judge Hanen also rejected a request by the plaintiff states to order the program to end within two years.
For now, the DACA program remains vital, allowing renewals and offering temporary protection from deportation for ‘Dreamers’.
Judge makes decision
In his remarks, Judge Hanen was clear that his order does not require the federal government to take any immediate action against DACA recipients.
This decision could be considered a respite for those affected by the legal uncertainty that has surrounded DACA for years.
DACA advocates praised Hanen’s decision not to eliminate protections for existing recipients.
However, the declaration of the revised version of DACA as illegal raises questions about the long-term future of the program and the safety of the «Dreamers.»
Thomas Sáenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said it will ultimately be up to the higher courts.
Including the Supreme Court, ruling on the legality and whether Texas demonstrated that it had been harmed by the program.
“Judge Hanen has consistently been wrong in resolving both issues, and today’s ruling is more of the same erroneous analysis,” he said.
“We look forward to continuing to defend the legal and much-needed DACA program under review in higher courts,” Sáenz said.
Biden administration responds
Likewise, it has been announced that the administration of the president of the United States, Joe Biden, criticized the judge’s ruling, according to Associated Press.
«We are deeply disappointed by the ruling today regarding DACA from the District Court in South Texas,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“As we have long maintained, we disagree with the District Court’s conclusion that DACA is illegal and we will continue to defend this policy,” she added.
«While we do so, in accordance with the court order, DHS will continue to process renewals for current DACA recipients and the DHS can continue to accept DACA applications,” it reads.