Federal Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S District Court in Houston recently ruled for the Biden Administration to stop all applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and ruled that the Obama-era program was illegal, to begin with. This will be a huge blow to the Biden Administration and their promise to protect this illegal program. It is also the first time a court has ruled that the program is illegal.
Hanen found that the Department of Homeland Security violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in creating the policy and implementing it. He said that the program usurps the power of Congress to dictate a national scheme of immigration laws. While they will continue to accept applications, none will be approved at the time. The change does not affect current DACA recipients and those receiving benefits from the program.
President Biden said he was incredibly disappointed by the federal judge’s ruling and that they intend to file an appeal and publish a proposed rule about the program. While he signed a memo to protect DACA and give a path to citizenship for all illegal immigrants, he renewed his calls.
Biden said he repeatedly called on Congress to pass the American Dream and Promise Act to provide security to all dreamers and those who “have lived too long in fear.” He said that the Obama-Biden administration created the program to let hundreds of thousands of young immigrants remain in the United States.
In March, U.S Homeland Security Secretary Alejandros Mayorkas said he would seek to strengthen the legal standing of the DACA program, but has yet to reveal his plans in doing so.
But many states have been attempting to sue and halt DACA for quite some time now. Texas argued that former President Barack Obama lacked the power to create the program in the first place. They also said that the DACA policy violated the Constitution. Obama argued back in his own tweet.
“For more than nine years, DREAMers have watched courts and politicians debate whether they’ll be allowed to stay in the only country many of them have ever known. It’s long past time for Congress to act and give them the protection and certainty they deserve,” Obama wrote.
Judge Hanen shared that Obama’s executive order didn’t allow the public to comment and engage in the “statutorily mandated process.” He said that DACA never gained status as a legally binding policy that could impose duties or obligations.
The Obama Administration has a history of ignoring the APA when issuing rules and seemed to ignore this one when they granted 700,000 illegal immigrants protected under the program and a hundred thousand more illegal immigrants deemed eligible for it. The program would also grant work authorization and lawful presence to over a million illegal aliens whom Congress made no laws about.
Strangely enough, former President Donald Trump dealt with the opposite problems. He made multiple moves in 2017 to end the program but a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York ordered the Trump Administration to reinstate it. Critics argued that the numerous court rulings have led to little to no legislative progress over immigration reform in the past decade.
Biden now has an uphill battle before the Supreme Court. But he should know by now that looking for ways to break the Constitution to push DACA through is also against the Constitution.
Major American cities are facing a homelessness crisis and Biden has it in his mind to provide citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants. At least a federal court is actually interpreting federal law and the Constitution for once. This is a ruling in favor of the law, not the Democratic Party.