A court of appeal ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (also known as the “Dream Act”) was illegal, but it could remain in force for 600,000 “Dreamers”, who have already been granted the status.
Former President Barack Obama, a Democrat put in place the DACA program after repeatedly stating that he didn’t have the constitutional power. This act allows illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children to stay on American soil.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Obama’s assertion that he does not have the power or authority to approve such an amnesty program if Congress has not passed a law.
A July 2021 lower court decision that stated Obama didn’t have the constitutional authority to execute the program via executive memorandum was confirmed by the three-judge court panel. New applicants are still subject to the injunction.
“We also acknowledge that DACA has been of profound importance to recipients and many other people over the ten years it has been in existence, CNN reported that the ruling was made due to the uncertainty of final disposition and the possibility of disruptions resulting from a lack of continuity and stability.”
Following the latest ruling, Chuy Garcia (Democratic Representative from Illinois) called for Congress to pass a law protecting DACA and keeping the program in existence.
While this decision is a relief for DACA recipients, it highlights the urgency of Senate action on The Dream and Promise Act. Garcia tweeted that we must ensure long-term stability and support DACA recipients, but not deny the country’s many young residents.
The Biden administration attempted to strengthen DACA by allowing public comment in August. This was an attempt to counter Obama’s neglect and was criticized by the judge who overturned the law.
The Supreme Court could decide whether the Department of Justice appeals to the decision.
More information about DACA is available here: