A federal judge ruled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program illegal Wednesday, putting into question the Obama-era policy that protects more than 500,000 immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and setting up a potential showdown with the Supreme Court in a blow for the Biden Administration, according to multiple reports.
Texas-based U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen declared DACA as unlawful, arguing the Biden Administration’s rule that was created to codify the policy into federal law was a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the way federal agencies develop and issue regulations.
However, the program is not in any danger of being immediately removed, with current beneficiaries remaining unaffected by the ruling.
The Biden administration is expected to appeal the ruling, which will likely make its way to the conservative-majority Supreme Court.
Hanen said the court was sympathetic to the predicament of DACA recipients but that it “has expressed its concerns about the legality of the program for some time,” adding in a filing the solution for the law’s deficiencies lie with the legislature, “not the executive or judicial branches.”
DACA was created in 2012 as a means of enabling immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to live, work and pursue education in the country. Eligible recipients are given two years’ worth of coverage and can renew their status at the end of each time period. In March, 578,680 immigrants were enrolled in DACA.
40%. That’s the reduced gap in attendance and graduation between citizen and non-citizen immigrants created by the enactment of DACA, according to data from Dartmouth Economics.
DACA’s Impact on Educational Outcomes (Dartmouth Economics)