A federal judge in Texas who previously ruled that the Obama-era Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, nicknamed “DACA,” has reaffirmed that ruling.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that a revised version of the program, which prevents the deportation of thousands of migrants brought illegally into the U.S. as children, also does not pass legal or constitutional muster more than a decade after then-President Barack Obama implemented the program via executive order after repeatedly claiming he had no authority as president to do so.
“Hanen said in his decision Wednesday that on July 16, 2021, the court vacated the DACA program created by the 2012 DACA Memorandum, which prohibited the U.S., its departments, agencies, officers, agents and employees from granting new DACA applications and administering the program,” Fox News reported.
The ruling was eventually reaffirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and then again on Wednesday, by him.
“That program is vacated, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is enjoined from implementing Final Rule DACA until a further order of the Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, or the Supreme Court of the United States,” Hanen noted in his ruling.
The judge also ruled that defendants are allowed to continue implementing the program for individuals who were granted their initial DACA status before July 16, 2021. This includes the processing and approval of DACA renewal applications for these individuals, Fox News added.
Additionally, he specified that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can still receive initial applications, with the stipulation that it “may not grant any.” Furthermore, the department was instructed to publish a public notice of the injunction on its website and on the websites of all pertinent agencies engaged in DACA management or processing.
“A Final Judgment has not been entered in this case, so all matters not being addressed by an appellate court are still pending in this Court and subject to its jurisdiction,” Hanen added.
Fox News added:
The decision comes more than a month after attorneys representing the states of Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kansas and Mississippi — all states that sued to end the Obama-era program — as well as lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice and DACA recipients were to appear before Hanen to debate the issue.
Hanen, in 2021, declared DACA illegal, ruling that the program had not been subjected to public notice and comment periods required under the federal Administrative Procedures Act. He also said the nine states seeking to stop DACA had standing to file their lawsuit because they had been harmed by the program.
The White House issued the following statement Wednesday night expressing its disappointment with the ruling.
“We are deeply disappointed in today’s DACA ruling from the District Court in Southern Texas. On day one of his Administration, President Biden issued a memorandum directing the federal government to take all appropriate actions to ‘preserve and fortify’ the DACA policy,” the statement said.
“Consistent with that directive, the Administration has defended the DACA policy from legal challenges, and issued a final rule codifying this longstanding policy. During this Administration, hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have been able to live and work lawfully in our country without fear of deportation,” the statement continued.
“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. While we do so, consistent with the court’s order, DHS will continue to process renewals for current DACA recipients and DHS may continue to accept DACA applications,” the statement concluded.
The states that sued argued that they incur massive expenses for health care, education, law enforcement, and other costs and se