A Texas federal judge ruled that the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program that has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation is illegal. President Joe Biden said the July 16 ruling is “deeply disappointing” and announced that the Justice Department will appeal the decision.
President Biden called on Congress to create a permanent solution to protect those in the program:
“Only Congress can ensure a permanent solution by granting a path to citizenship for Dreamers that will provide the certainty and stability that these young people need and deserve. I have repeatedly called on Congress to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, and I now renew that call with the greatest urgency. It is my fervent hope that through reconciliation or other means, Congress will finally provide security to all Dreamers, who have lived too long in fear.”
The House passed legislation in March to create a pathway toward citizenship for young people in the DACA program, but the bill is stalled in the Senate.
Texas and eight other states sued to end DACA because President Barack Obama was not authorized to create the program because it circumvented Congress.
DACA-eligible individuals are often called Dreamers from the DREAM Act, a bill that aimed to grant legal status and prevent deportation of young immigrants residing in the U.S. unlawfully after being brought in by their parents. On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Dreamers, ruling that the Trump administration cannot end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The DACA program was initiated in 2012 by the Obama administration to protect young people brought to the United States as children to shield them from deportation and let them attend school and get work permits. The decision will protect about almost 800,000 Dreamers from deportation.
Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the United States District Court in Houston’s ruling suspended further applications to the DACA program. But the judge also wrote that current program recipients would not be immediately affected and that the federal government should not “take any immigration, deportation or criminal action” against them that it “would not otherwise take.”
• The DHS (Department of Homeland Security) can continue to accept new applications but is temporarily prohibited from approving them.
• Immigrants currently enrolled in DACA, for now, retain the ability to stay and work in the country.
There is currently a backlog of new and renewal DACA applications due to COVID-related government closings that affected the processing of immigration cases. USCIS had recently assigned more immigration officers to help eliminate the backlog of DACA applications.
An experienced DACA lawyer can explain the new policy developments around U.S. immigration laws and how they might affect your and your family’s situation. Knowledge of the legal system is a powerful tool to protect people from deportation. To discuss your situation, call 630-912-0322 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced DACA attorneys today.
Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, and Lake Counties.