Immigrants and advocates are urging Democrats and President Joe Biden to quickly act on legislation to protect young immigrants after a Texas-based Federal judge ruled an Obama-era program that prevents the deportation of thousands of them brought into the U.S. as children was illegal on Friday.
Plaintiffs have vowed to appeal the decision by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who declared the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program illegal, barring the government from approving any new applications, but leaving the program intact for existing recipients.
Calling the ruling a “blaring siren” for Democrats, United We Dream Executive Director Greisa Martinez Rosas said they would be solely to blame if legislative reform doesn’t happen.
“Until the president and Democrats in Congress deliver on citizenship, the lives of millions will remain on the line,” Martinez Rosas said.
Hanen ruled in favor of Texas and eight other states that sued to halt DACA, which provides limited protections to about 650,000 people.
The program has faced a roller coaster of court challenges since former President Barack Obama instituted it in June 2012.
The Trump administration announced it was ending the program in September 2017, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that the administration hadn’t ended the program properly, keeping it alive once more.
In Friday’s ruling, Hanen wrote that the states proved “the hardship that the continued operation of DACA has inflicted on them.”
He continued: “Furthermore, the government has no legitimate interest in the continuation of an illegally implemented program.”
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