Judge rules against program that protects young immigrants
On Friday, July 16, 2021, Texas federal judge Andrew Hanen ruled against the deportation relief program called DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which protects young immigrants who were brought to the US without legal documentation when they were minors, known as Dreamers. This program was initially implemented in 2012 under the administration of then President Barack Obama.
Currently, DACA protects more than 600,000 eligible young immigrants, who, thanks to this program, also have the possibility to apply for employment authorization, study and access other social benefits. It is important to clarify that the vast majority of DACA recipients are Dreamers who came to North America as children and remember almost nothing of their countries of origin.
According to Judge Hanen’s ruling, the Obama administration did not follow the proper administrative protocols to legitimately establish such an immigration program. According to the federal judge, DACA does not meet the mandatory requirements to be an immigration benefit and, therefore, he invalidated it until further notice.
In his verdict, Hanen explained that Obama’s DHS (Department of Homeland Security) violated the Administrative Procedure Act “with the creation of DACA and its continued operation” since it did not follow the regular process involving a notice and public comment period that must take place when implementing a new immigration program or benefit.
Hanen ruled in favor of plaintiff states (Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Arkansas, West Virginia and South Carolina) regarding DACA’s negative impact on certain local populations and economies.
Under Hanen’s verdict:
- The USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) cannot approve new DACA applications as of the ruling’s date.
- Dreamers who are already DACA recipients do not necessarily have to face deportation proceedings. Instead, they are still protected by this program and can submit renewal applications until further notice.
- DHS has 3 calendar days from the ruling’s date to issue a public notice, explaining the new DACA guidelines.
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What is the story behind this ruling?
DACA is a program that has been on the cutting block on several occasions, especially under the Trump administration, which tried to eradicate it by all means possible. This legal battle seemed to have ended when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Dreamers in June 2020.
However, in another similar and parallel legal process, Judge Hanen was to hear a request and evaluate whether DACA qualifies as a legitimate immigration benefit or not. At the end of March 2021, the Texas judge postponed the ruling regarding DACA in order to review more information and evidence related to the legality of this program.
What other options are there for your particular immigration case?
At Motion Law Immigration we like to keep you up to date with the latest immigration news through our Blog Section. Nevertheless, the US immigration system is quite extensive, which means that, despite sometimes discouraging news, there are still several alternatives that might suit your immigration needs.
We want to help you fulfill your dreams in the US through the immigration process that best suits your current needs. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact Motion Law Immigration, schedule a FREE Consultation and follow the advice of our expert immigration attorneys, who have vast experience with all kinds of immigration cases and will surely know which is the best alternative for your particular case.
Simply call Motion Law today at: (202) 918-1799.