Federal Judge Rules DACA Program Illegal Again

Judge Hanen Rejects Revised DACA Policy

In a significant development, Federal Judge Andrew Hanen, presiding over the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, has once again declared the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program illegal.

DACA: A Controversial Program

DACA, established in 2012 during the Obama administration, has been a source of contention for several years. It provides protection from deportation for young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

This recent ruling by Judge Hanen comes as a blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to safeguard and formalize DACA through federal regulation. The ruling has far-reaching implications for the program’s future.

Judge Hanen’s Decision and Its Implications

Judge Hanen’s decision deems the recent Biden administration’s efforts to preserve and codify DACA as illegal. While the program will continue temporarily, new applicants will still be barred from applying.

In his ruling, Judge Hanen expressed concerns about the legality of DACA and emphasized the constitutional limits on executive power.

Biden Administration’s Response

The Biden administration issued a statement expressing deep disappointment with the ruling. They emphasized the positive impact DACA has had on hundreds of thousands of recipients, allowing them to live and work legally in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

The administration reiterated its disagreement with the District Court’s conclusion and pledged to continue defending DACA against legal challenges.

Opposition to DACA

Seven Republican-leaning states have been actively suing to end DACA, arguing that the updated program was implemented unlawfully and represents an overreach of executive authority.

These states claim that they continue to suffer financial losses due to the presence of immigrants permitted to stay in the country without legal authorization.

Legal Background and Future Outlook

This is not the first time DACA’s legality has been challenged in court. In 2021, Judge Hanen ruled it unlawful due to the lack of formal agency rulemaking.

The Biden administration, responding to ongoing legal battles, took steps to strengthen and safeguard DACA by releasing a final rule aimed at formalizing it.

It is highly likely that the Biden administration will appeal this decision, and legal experts anticipate that the case will eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.