Federal judge bars DHS from approving new DACA applications

 September 14, 2023

In a stunning rebuke to former President Barack Obama's legacy, a federal judge has just found the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to be illegal. 

As Fox News noted, the program allows those who were brought to the United States illegally as children to remain in the county.

DACA program vacated

However, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen vacated the DACA program in a ruling issued on  July 16, 2021. That ruling was later affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and then reaffirmed by Hanen again on Wednesday.

"That program is vacated, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is enjoined from implementing Final Rule DACA until a further order of the Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, or the Supreme Court of the United States," Hanen was quoted as writing.

He made clear that the Biden administration can continue to administer the program to those whose DACA status was granted prior to July 16, 2021.

DHS may not approve new applications

Yet although DHS personnel are permitted to continue accepting new applications, they are also prohibited from approving any of them.

Meanwhile, DHS was instructed to post a public notice regarding Hanen's injunction on its website as well as the websites of all agencies related to DACA administration or processing.

"A Final Judgment has not been entered in this case, so all matters not being addressed by an appellate court are still pending in this Court and subject to its jurisdiction," Hanen added.

Hanen's decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by nine states that asserted that DACA was not subjected to public notice and comment periods demanded by the federal Administrative Procedures Act.

White House condemns ruling

Fox News quoted a response put out by the White House that read, "We are deeply disappointed in today’s DACA ruling from the District Court in Southern Texas."

"On day one of his Administration, President Biden issued a memorandum directing the federal government to take all appropriate actions to ‘preserve and fortify’ the DACA policy," it continued.

"Consistent with that directive, the Administration has defended the DACA policy from legal challenges, and issued a final rule codifying this longstanding policy," the statement declared.

"As we have long maintained, we disagree with the District Court’s conclusion that DACA is unlawful, and will continue to defend this critical policy from legal challenges. While we do so, consistent with the court’s order, DHS will continue to process renewals for current DACA recipients and DHS may continue to accept DACA applications," it added.

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