DACA program ruled illegal by federal judge, orders halt to new applicants

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, instituted by former President Barack Obama in a 2012 executive order, was struck down by a federal judge Friday, and new applicants are barred from the program unless further legal action is taken, Breitbart reported

“DHS violated the [Administrative Procedure Act] with the creation DACA and its continued operation… [T]he DACA Memorandum and the DACA program that it created are hereby vacated and remanded to DHS for further consideration, as requested,” Judge Andrew Hanen ruled.

“DHS…is hereby enjoined from approving any new DACA applications and granting the attendant status,” the judge added.

Going for amnesty

In the nine years of the program’s existence, DACA enrolled nearly 900,000 illegal immigrants.

DACA recipients receive residency status by claiming they were brought to the U.S. as children, and it provides a pathway to obtain work visas, which many believe creates unfair competition against Americans for available jobs.

The Biden administration was hoping to ramp up the program and add many new illegal immigrants to its ranks, but Judge Hanen put a swift end to his goal.

The administration has fought for amnesty for DACA recipients since the beginning and has put a provision for an amnesty pathway into the Senate’s 2022 budget proposal, which only needs a simple majority to pass.

Many believe that Democrats are pushing hard for amnesty as they hope to pad their constituent base with a fresh crop of Democratic voters.

DACA was always illegal

But as Hanen pointed out, DACA was always technically illegal, as only Congress can grant amnesty en masse to illegal immigrants and Congress was not involved in the creation of the Obama-era program. DACA was a policy objective, and essentially had no legal standing the entire time.

Hanen’s ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Texas and a coalition of states. The ruling did what the U.S. Supreme Court failed to do last year when it ruled on a technicality that the Trump administration had not proceeded in its attempt to end DACA in the correct manner.

Of course, the Biden administration has already announced that it will appeal the ruling, and no decision has been made on what to do with the 886,000 existing recipients, though the court noted that currently-enrolled DACA members will not be affected by this particular ruling.

The battle isn’t over, but Hanen’s ruling is sound and it will likely prove difficult to overturn, according to immigration expert Kris Kobach, Breitbart noted.

Latest News