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Federal Judge Rules Against Obama-era Immigration Policy

A Texas Federal judge has just ruled against a regulation that protects Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program.

DACA is  a program that protects illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children

The new ruling is a major blow to the Biden administration who last year released a  rule to codify DACA.

Judge Andrew Hanen in his ruling wrote that the Obama-era rule “violated the Administrative Procedure Act, a law that governs how agencies make regulations.”

Per CNN:

A federal judge in Texas ruled Wednesday that a regulation intended to preserve the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is unlawful, delivering a major blow to the Biden administration.

Last year, the administration moved to preserve the program – which protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children – and released a rule to codify the policy into a federal regulation.

But in a Wednesday filing, Judge Andrew Hanen, of the Southern District of Texas, maintained that DACA is unlawful and argued the rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act, a law that governs how agencies make regulations. The order doesn’t impact current beneficiaries of the program.

“To be clear, neither this order nor the accompanying supplemental injunction requires the (Department of Homeland Security) 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 not be taken,” Hanen wrote.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement Wednesday evening that the administration is “deeply disappointed” by the ruling.

“During this Administration, hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have been able to live and work lawfully in our country without fear of deportation,” Jean-Pierre wrote. “As we have long maintained, we disagree with the District Court’s conclusion that DACA is unlawful, and will continue to defend this critical policy from legal challenges.”

Here’s what Yahoo reported:

While a federal judge on Wednesday declared illegal a revised version of a federal policy that prevents the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, he declined to order an immediate end to the program and the protections it offers to recipients.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen agreed with Texas and eight other states suing to stop the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. The judge’s ruling was ultimately expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, sending the program’s fate before the high court for a third time.

“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 his 40-page 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 … The Executive Branch cannot usurp the power bestowed on Congress by the Constitution — even to fill a void.”

Hanen’s order extended the current injunction that had been in place against DACA, which barred the government from approving any new applications, but left the program intact for existing recipients during the ongoing legal review.

Hanen also declined a request by the states to order the program’s end within two years. Hanen said his order does not require the federal government to take any actions against DACA recipients, who are known as “Dreamers.”


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