By: Dylan Wadhwa
On Sept. 13, Judge Andrew Hanen denied the Biden administration’s efforts to reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, reinforcing the stance that the program is unlawful. DACA aims to help immigrants avoid deportation and grant them work permits, enabling many to forge careers and establish lives in the US. In 2012, former US President Barack Obama created DACA as a temporary solution to immigration issues while waiting for Congress to act on other statutes. However, the escalating political debate surrounding immigration has prevented efforts to introduce new solutions to replace DACA.
Judge. Hansen of the federal district court in Houston ruled that the establishment of DACA in 2012 surpassed Obama’s authority. This new verdict marks a twist in the ongoing legal battles spanning five years, leaving DACA beneficiaries, referred to as “Dreamers,” in a state of uncertainty.
Hansen clarified that while new immigrants face the difficult obstacle of the decision, current beneficiaries will remain protected, but new applications will not be accepted.
Although the Biden administration worked to maintain the foundation of DACA, Judge Hansen remained unswayed, mentioning the clear absences of differences from the original order.
While no action will immediately follow from this ruling, some experts guess that DACA will be taken to the US Court of Appeals, with a chance that the case could land in the Supreme Court.
Previously, in 2021, Judge Hanen sided with several Republican-led states, ruling that the lack of a mandatory public notice-and-comment period rendered DACA illegal. The US Court of Appeals held up this decision, but initiated a review of a newly added rule by the Biden administration, which set out to discuss concerns about the ruling. Judge Hansen’s argument mentioned that an executive cannot overrule Congress’ authority, which essentially rendered DACA unconstitutional. The decision maintains that the new rule and the initial 2012 memorandum share the same unlawful characteristics. The continual unrest between DACA and the law grows, with more and more people calling for a solution.
(Sources: NY Times)