The program, initially established in 2012 under the Obama administration, allows illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to defer deportation for two years and to renew the deferral, as well as to receive work permits. DACA recipients are not granted a path to citizenship.
On Friday, July 16, a federal judge in Texas suspended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As reported by National Review:
The Department of Homeland Security “violated the [Administrative Procedure Act] with the creation of DACA and its continued operation,” Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas wrote in a ruling on Friday. “The DACA memorandum and the DACA program it created are hereby vacated and remanded to the DHS for further consideration.”
However, Hanen temporarily vacated the order with regard to current DACA recipients, meaning people currently enrolled in the DACA program will not have their status affected until a further court ruling. While people may continue to submit DACA applications, Hanen ordered the Biden administration to cease approving new applications.
President Biden immediately condemned the ruling:
President Biden on Saturday called a federal court ruling that put a halt to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program "deeply disappointing" and again urged Congress to pass legislation that would grant illegal immigrants protected from deportation under the program a pathway to citizenship.
"Yesterday’s Federal court ruling is deeply disappointing," Biden said in a statement. "While the court’s order does not now affect current DACA recipients, this decision nonetheless relegates hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to an uncertain future."
DHS Secretary Mayorkas echoed the President:
"I am disappointed by yesterday’s ruling and its impact on families across the country, but it will not derail our efforts to protect Dreamers," DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. "The Biden-Harris Administration—and this country—remain as committed as ever to ensuring that Dreamers are protected from the threat of deportation and are allowed to continue to contribute to this country that is their home."
Mayorkas confirmed the effort to issue a rule and said the DACA renewals would continue to be processed, before adding that "only the passage of legislation will give full protection and a path to citizenship to DACA recipients."
The ramifications of the ruling are still unfolding.
DACA court ruling puts weight of immigration reform on Democrats https://t.co/KDs1rxao7f pic.twitter.com/OEDzl1MxOL— The Hill (@thehill) July 25, 2021
Biden: 'Remains to be seen' if DACA citizenship pathway will be in $3.5T budget https://t.co/kyxQHHIXhK pic.twitter.com/OI98SFgWn6— New York Post (@nypost) July 26, 2021
To learn more, join RNLA this Friday at 2 p.m. ET for a webinar discussing the recent DACA ruling and Biden's Border Crisis.