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It is the latest blow to the program, which has been in legal limbo since former President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2012.
Immigrant advocates, attorneys, and DACA recipients had been prepared for Hanen to rule against DACA given the handling of the case by the Trump administration and the judge’s track record in immigration. They had been waiting for a verdict since a hearing in late December.
Lawyers have been saying for months that a ruling against DACA could force Congress to secure a path to citizenship for dreamers faster. If DACA is finally lifted for current recipients, their protection against deportation and work permits will be withdrawn.
Democrats plan to include immigration measures – such as pathway to citizenship for dreamers, beneficiaries of temporary protected status, and key workers like farm workers – in the upcoming $ 3.5 trillion spending bill. However, it is unclear whether the measures will survive the Senate budget rules that would allow them to be part of the final package.
On Friday afternoon, advocacy groups for immigrants, Democrats, DACA recipients and supporters of the program quickly issued statements criticizing the verdict and calling on Congress to ensure that a route to citizenship is included in the reconciliation package.
“No surprise, just a painful reminder that we no longer have to rely on temporary immigration solutions,” said Senator Bob Menendez (DN.J.), one of the key figures on Capitol Hill who pushed for immigration reform. posted on twitter. “Congress must seize the moment and every opportunity to finally open a path to legalization for millions of undocumented immigrants.”
Despite the ruling, DACA remains popular and has the support of both Republicans and Democrats across the country.
“We don’t need to hear Republican speeches – the solution is clear and all leaders should have the will and commitment to put politics aside and move forward on this long-held promise, bearing the weight of public support and the urgency of the moment . “” Said Sergio Gonzales, Executive Director of the Immigration Hub.
The Biden administration is expected to appeal Hanen’s decision in the 5th District Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
In 2015, Hanen – an appointee of President George W. Bush – blocked Obama’s move to expand the DACA program to millions more immigrants by increasing eligibility and creating similar quasi-legal status for family members of U.S. citizens and legal residents Has. However, the red states that charged DACA expansion did not pose a serious challenge to the original program until last year.
Texas and eight other states called for the court to end DACA in their lawsuit, arguing that doing so was unconstitutional and forced states to pay additional costs for providing DACA recipients with services such as education. But DACA supporters have long pointed to research documenting the benefits of the program for both young immigrants and the country. The Center for American Progress, for example, estimates that ending DACA would mean a billion dollar loss in GDP for states that want to overthrow it.
In Friday’s decision, Hanen adopted one of the conclusions it came to in the first decision: that the programs should be subject to formal notification and commentary under the Administrative Procedure Act. In the new ruling, the judge also found that the content of the original DACA program was illegal because it exceeded the powers Congress granted the executive bodies.
The Obama administration and supporters of the programs argued that they resembled previous actions by a number of governments to temporarily house certain groups of immigrants due to unrest abroad or for other reasons. However, Hanen said these efforts were different because they provided relief to immigrants from certain countries or were adopted as a stopgap solution in anticipation of action by Congress.
“Given the nine-year history of failed legislation in Congress, it is an inescapable conclusion that DACA is not interstitial to Congressional action,” Hanen wrote. “Although Congress could one day pass such a DREAM bill, the continued failure to pass bills with the DACA population shows a rejection of this policy.”
Judgment Friday is also tense with a ruling by Brooklyn federal judge Nicholas Garaufis last December ordering the government to re-process new applications for DACA and to re-authorize DACA applicants to leave the country without their status to lose. In the new ruling, Hanen insisted that while he forbade new DACA grants, he did not interfere with the other judge’s order for the Department of Homeland Security to accept such requests.