New court ruling deems DACA program illegal

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A federal judge in Texas again ruled against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allowed eligible undocumented young adults who came to the U.S. as children to work and study without fear of deportation.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that recent efforts by the Biden administration to turn the Obama-era program into a federal regulation were unlawful.

Delia Salvatierra, attorney for Salvatierra Law Group, joined Arizona Horizon to discuss the court ruling. 

“It’s a five-year-long saga with Judge Hanen out of the federal district court in Houston,” Salvatierra said. “Basically, he’s been unpersuaded that the Obama administration had the authority to enact the DACA program through executive authority.”

Salvatierra said the Trump administration came in and dissolved the program for future applications, only allowing people to renew. The Biden administration attempted to revamp the program when they came in by allowing new applicants, but it was struck down.

This is not the first time this judge has ruled against the DACA program. Salvatierra said the case will ultimately go to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will have to rule whether the program is valid through the rule-making process.

No new applications will be permitted under the ruling. However, current DACA recipients can continue to renew their status.

The Biden administration is expected to challenge the order and take it up to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Those who are now unable to apply for the program will remain under undocumented status, regardless of whether or not they were brought to the U.S. as children.

“The protection for DACA is not that you will not be deported; it’s that you are a low-priority for deportation because you are given an opportunity to work and to contribute,” Salvatierra said.

Delia Salvatierra, Salvatierra Law Group

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