In a significant legal setback for the Obama administration's legacy, a federal judge has ruled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program illegal.
According to American Insider, Judge Andrew Hanen initially made this declaration in 2021, stating that the program violated the federal Administrative Procedures Act by not providing public notice and comment periods. He also noted that nine states had the standing to file the lawsuit, claiming they had suffered harm due to DACA's implementation.
DACA, a policy designed to protect thousands of young immigrants from deportation, now hangs in the balance. Judge Hanen's ruling effectively halts the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from implementing the program until further orders from higher courts.
The Biden Administration expressed deep disappointment, emphasizing that they had taken steps to "preserve and fortify" DACA since day one.
They also pointed out that hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have been able to live and work lawfully in the U.S. without fear of deportation under the current administration.
The U.S. Justice Department countered the states' claims, arguing that they had not shown any direct injury due to DACA.
They emphasized that Congress had granted DHS the authority to set immigration enforcement policies. Despite the legal challenges, the White House reaffirmed its commitment to protecting all "Dreamers" and urged Congress to enact permanent protections.
This ruling adds another layer of uncertainty to the already complex issue of immigration in the United States, putting the future of many young immigrants in jeopardy while also challenging the executive actions of past and current administrations.