HOUSTON – A federal judge in Texas on Friday ordered an end to the DACA program that prevents deportations of some immigrants brought to the United States as children, putting new pressure on President Joe Biden and the Democratic lawmakers who now control Congress to take action.
District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled in favor of Texas and eight other conservative states that sued to suspend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provides some protections to some 650,000 people. People who are already enrolled will not lose their protections, but Hanen has prohibited the processing of new applications.
Hanen’s decision limits Biden’s ability to keep the show or something similar for now. The president promised during his campaign to protect DACA.RELATED
It is the second ruling by a federal judge in Texas to halt Biden’s immigration plans. Previously, another court barred the application of a 100-day moratorium ordered by Biden on most deportations.
Biden has already proposed a law that would provide a naturalization mechanism for the 11 million people estimated to be living in the United States without authorization. He also ordered agencies to make efforts to preserve the program.
DACA supporters, including those who argued with Hanen to save him, have said Congress needs to pass a law to provide permanent relief. Hanen has said that Congress must act if the United States wants to provide DACA protections to recipients commonly known as “dreamers.”
Hanen’s ruling came after he held a nearly three-and-a-half hour court hearing on Dec. 22 on the fate of DACA.
The states argued that former President Barack Obama never had the authority in 2012 to create a program like DACA because he bypassed Congress. The states also argued that the program depletes their health and educational resources.
In addition to Texas, the plaintiffs were Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia, all of them states with Republican governors or attorneys general.
The Mexican-American Fund for Legal Defense and Education and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, which defended DACA on behalf of a group of grantees, argued that Obama had the authority to institute the program and that states lacked the capacity. to sue because they had not suffered any harm due to the program.