A federal court on Wednesday ruled that an updated government policy that shields hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the country as children from deportation is illegal, but he did not order an immediate end to the program or the safeguards it affords participants.
U.S. Texas and eight other states filed a lawsuit to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, and District Judge Andrew Hanen sided with them.
The judge’s decision was eventually anticipated to be appealed to the United States. Supreme Court, again bringing the program’s fate before the top court.
Legislature must address these shortcomings. For a variety of reasons, Congress has chosen not to approve legislation similar to DACA. Hanen said in a 40-page decision that the Executive Branch cannot usurp the authority granted to Congress by the Constitution, not even to fill a vacancy.
Hanen’s judgment prolonged the previous DACA injunction, which forbade the administration from approving any new applications while maintaining the program for current beneficiaries throughout the pending legal review.
States Claim DACA Harms Them Financially, But Federal Government Disputes
The decision regarding the legality of DACA and whether Texas was able to establish that the program had harmed it will ultimately be made by higher courts, including the Supreme Court, according to Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, which represents the DACA recipients in the lawsuit.
The judge’s decision was questioned by the Biden administration.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the Texas Attorney General’s Office both defended the states in the complaint. The federal government’s representative, the Department of Justice, did not promptly respond to requests for comment by email or phone.
The states have asserted that allowing immigrants to stay in the country illegally costs them hundreds of millions of dollars in health care, education, and other expenses. Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kansas, and Mississippi are the states that filed the lawsuit.
The federal government, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the state of New Jersey, who were defending the program, claimed the states had failed to provide proof that any of the expenses they claim to have incurred were related to DACA recipients.
According to U.S. data, 578,680 people have DACA enrollment as of the end of March. Immigration and Citizenship Services.
Over the years, the program has experienced an uphill battle in the courts.
Congress has been urged to enact long-term safeguards for dreamers by President Joe Biden and advocacy organizations. Congress has repeatedly failed to enact legislation known as the DREAM Act to safeguard DACA recipients.