A federal judge in Texas today ordered an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) act, but only for new applicants.
Anyone already enrolled in the DACA program enacted by President Obama back in 2012 is safe for now. The basic scheme of the program was that anyone who came to the US illegally through June 15th 2007, as a minor (defined as up through age 25), was safe from deportation.
That was until today when Federal Judge Andrew Hanen declared the program illegal.
It was in arguments in December of last year with several states who sued — argued that former President Obama never had authority to create a program like DACA in the first place.
"Congress has not granted the Executive Branch free rein to grant lawful presence outside the ambit of the statutory scheme," the Judge wrote.
In a separate ruling on the matter Hanen acknowledged ending the program abruptly for the current applicants wasn’t fair, however.
"Hundreds of thousands of individual DACA recipients, along with their employers, states, and loved ones, have come to rely on the DACA program. [...] Given those interests, it is not equitable for a government program that has engendered such a significant reliance to terminate suddenly."
It was in June 2020 that the US Supreme Court overturned the Trump administration’s termination of DACA on the grounds of violating the “Administrative Procedure Act.”
On the first day in office President Biden made DACA a priority.
"The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall take all actions he deems appropriate, consistent with applicable law, to preserve and fortify DACA."
The agenda is still on the forefront of the administration's attention. Last month on "DACA Day," Biden put out a statement urging Congress to act on passing a more permanent solution for individuals under the DACA scheme.
For today’s ruling Hanen cited dissent from the Supreme Court’s earlier decisions, written by Clarence Thomas, that declared DACA an “unlawful program.”