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US federal judge rules revised Daca policy illegal and halts new applications

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  vic-eldred  •  10 months ago  •  28 comments

By:   the Guardian

US federal judge rules revised Daca policy illegal and halts new applications
US district judge halts new applications, leaving existing Daca recipients in limbo amid ongoing legal battles

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


District judge Andrew Hanen's ruling expected to be appealed, leaving supreme court to rule on program's fate for the third time

A federal judge on Wednesday declared illegal a revised version of a federal policy that prevents the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the US as children.

US district judge Andrew Hanen agreed with Texas and eight other states suing to stop the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program. The judge's ruling was ultimately expected to be appealed to the US supreme court, sending the program's fate before the high court for a third time.

"While sympathetic to the predicament of Daca recipients and their families, this Court has expressed its concerns about the legality of the program for some time," Hanen wrote in his 40-page ruling. "The solution for these deficiencies lies with the legislature, not the executive or judicial branches. Congress, for any number of reasons, has decided not to pass Daca-like legislation ... The Executive Branch cannot usurp the power bestowed on Congress by the Constitution - even to fill a void."

Hanen barred the government from approving any new applications, but left the program intact for existing recipients during the expected appeals process. Hanen said his order did not require the federal government to take any actions against Daca recipients.

Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which is representing Daca recipients in the lawsuit, said it would ultimately be up to higher courts, including the supreme court, to rule on Daca's legality and whether Texas proved it had been harmed by the program.

"Judge Hanen has consistently erred in resolving both of these issues, and today's ruling is more of the same flawed analysis. We look forward to continuing to defend the lawful and much-needed Daca program on review in higher courts," Saenz said.

The Texas attorney general's office, which represented the states in the lawsuit, and the US Department of Justice, which represented the federal government, did not immediately return emails or calls seeking comment.

The states have argued the Obama administration did not have the authority to first create the program in 2012 because it circumvented Congress.

In 2021, Hanen had declared the program illegal, ruling it had not been subject to public notice and comment periods required under the federal Administrative Procedures Act.

The Biden administration tried to satisfy Hanen's concerns with a new version of Daca that took effect in October 2022 and was subject to public comments as part of a formal rule-making process.

But Hanen, who was appointed by then-President George W Bush in 2002, ruled the updated version of Daca was still illegal. He had previously said Daca was unconstitutional and it would be up to Congress to enact legislation shielding people under the program, often known as "Dreamers".

Hanen also had previously ruled the states had standing to file their lawsuit because they had been harmed by the program.

The states have claimed they incur hundreds of millions of dollars in healthcare, education and other costs when immigrants are allowed to remain in the country illegally. The states that sued are Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kansas and Mississippi.

Those defending the program - the federal government, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the state of New Jersey - had argued the states failed to present evidence that any of the costs they allege they have incurred have been tied to Daca recipients. They also argued Congress has given the Department of Homeland Security the legal authority to set immigration enforcement policies.

Despite previously declaring the Daca program illegal, Hanen had left the Obama-era program intact for those already benefiting from it. But he had ruled there could be no new applicants while appeals were pending.

There were 578,680 people enrolled in Daca at the end of March, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The program has faced a rollercoaster of court challenges over the years.

In 2016, the supreme court deadlocked 4-4 over an expanded Daca and a version of the program for parents of Daca recipients. In 2020, the high court ruled 5-4 that the Trump administration improperly ended Daca, allowing it to stay in place.

In 2022, the 5th US circuit court of appeals in New Orleans upheld Hanen's earlier ruling declaring Daca illegal, but sent the case back to him to review changes made to the program by the Biden administration.

President Joe Biden and advocacy groups have called on Congress to pass permanent protections for "dreamers". Congress has failed multiple times to pass proposals called the Dream Act to protect Daca recipients.


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    10 months ago

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals , colloquially referred to as  DACA , is a  United States immigration policy  that allows some individuals with unlawful presence in the United States after being brought to the country as children to receive a renewable two-year period of  deferred action  from  deportation  and become eligible for an  employment authorization document  ( work permit ) in the U.S. To be eligible for the program, recipients cannot have felonies or serious misdemeanors on their records. Unlike the proposed  DREAM Act , DACA does not provide a path to citizenship for recipients. [1] [2]  The policy, an  executive branch memorandum , was announced by President  Barack Obama  on June 15, 2012. This followed a campaign by immigrants, advocates and supporters which employed a range of tactics. [3]   U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  (USCIS) began accepting applications for the program on August 15, 2012.

In November 2014, President Obama announced his intention to  expand DACA  to cover additional undocumented immigrants. Multiple states immediately sued to prevent the expansion, which was blocked June 23, 2016 by an evenly divided  U.S. Supreme Court  in  United States v. Texas .

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - Wikipedia

Lovingly explained by some leftist on Wikipedia.

Obama knew the entire idea was most likely illegal, but when the 2012 election came, he announced his directive to obviously get some votes. I'm sure he wanted it to be the law of the land, despite his election needs. This atrocity has been in limbo because of progressive judges. Now it will go to an honest SCOTUS.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    10 months ago
Now it will go to an honest SCOTUS.

... with a majority bought and paid for by the federalists, the heritage foundation, and liberty institute.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
1.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  devangelical @1.1    10 months ago

Sorry, not all judges can be Soros backed POS.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1.2  devangelical  replied to  Ronin2 @1.1.1    10 months ago

name those soros backed justices on SCOTUS...

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @1.1.2    10 months ago
name those soros backed justices on SCOTUS..

That was his point, there aren't any Soros-backed idiots on the Court.

SMH

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Professor Quiet
1.2  Jack_TX  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    10 months ago
Obama knew the entire idea was most likely illegal,

To be fair, it wasn't illegal as a temporary measure.

The executive order power of the presidency is designed for temporary situations until congress can pass permanent legislation.

But we're well past temporary at this point.  The POTUS does not have the power to suspend US law indefinitely, as this judge points out.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Participates
1.2.1  1stwarrior  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2    10 months ago

Responding in October 2010 to demands that he implement immigration reforms unilaterally, Obama declared, "I am not king. I can't do these things just by myself." In March 2011, he said that with "respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that's just not the case." In May 2011, he acknowledged that he couldn't "just bypass Congress and change the (immigration) law myself. ... That's not how a democracy works."

Yet in 2012, he did it anyway. He put DACA in place to provide pseudo-legal status to illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as minors, including as teenagers. He promised them that they wouldn't be deported and provided them with work authorizations and access to Social Security and other government benefits.

And he did this despite the fact that the immigration laws passed by Congress do not give the president the ability to do this. Indeed, Congress specifically rejected bills to provide such benefits.

As Attorney General Jeff Sessions, DACA "contributed to a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences." Since most DACA beneficiaries are now adults, "it also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens," Sessions said.

The unconstitutionality of Obama's actions were confirmed when Obama tried to implement a second, similar program in 2014 called the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, or DAPA. Like DACA, DAPA provided an administrative amnesty for illegal aliens who came to the U.S. as adults and gave them work authorizations and access to government benefits.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a nationwide injunction against DAPA, which the Supreme Court allowed to stand. As the Fifth Circuit said, the fact that the president declined to enforce the law and remove illegal aliens "does not transform presence deemed unlawful by Congress into lawful presence and confer eligibility for otherwise unavailable benefits based on that change."

Under our Constitution, Congress has plenary authority over immigration. The president only has the authority delegated to him by Congress – and Congress has never given the president the power to provide a pseudo-amnesty and government benefits to illegal aliens.

The DACA program suffers from exactly the same constitutional infirmities as DAPA. A number of states have threatened to sue the administration to stop the DACA program. 

The place to have the debate about what to do about illegal aliens who were minors when they came to this country is in the halls of Congress, not the White House. Failure to correct this unilateral, unconstitutional overreach would set a dangerous precedent that weakens our constitutional balance of powers. As law professor Jonathan Turley said, "If a president can claim sweeping discretion to suspend key federal laws, the entire legislative process becomes little more than a pretense."

Funny how so many actually forget that.  'Member also when he said "I've got a pen and I've got a phone - and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward."?

So, the Dems/Libs don't believe Obama knew what he was doing was illegal, even after SCOTUS said it was illegal.

Yup - those are the "leaders", eh?

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Professor Quiet
1.2.2  Jack_TX  replied to  1stwarrior @1.2.1    10 months ago
Yet in 2012, he did it anyway.

No.  He didn't.  Which is why this is in court today.

He put DACA in place to provide pseudo-legal status to illegal aliens

No.  He didn't.  He deferred action to a later date.  Hence the name of the action. 

At the time, there was considerable optimism that bipartisan immigration reform was possible and even imminent.  Obama basically said "we're not going to penalize you under this law because we're almost finished with a new one."

Obviously, the new law never materialized.  Enacting DACA on a temporary basis was not illegal.  Keeping it indefinitely is.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2  devangelical    10 months ago

cool, another nail in the 2024 coffin of xenophobic fascists...

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
2.1  Ronin2  replied to  devangelical @2    10 months ago

Illegals can't vote. No matter what leftists believe.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.1.1  devangelical  replied to  Ronin2 @2.1    10 months ago

but that isn't what xenophobes claim whenever they lose an election, is it..

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @2.1.1    10 months ago
but that isn't what xenophobes claim whenever they lose an election, is it

I bet you never even met one.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.1.3  devangelical  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.2    10 months ago

I converse with them every day.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @2.1.3    10 months ago
I converse with them every day.

They say people are known by the company they keep!

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @2    10 months ago

Wanting a secure border and to know who enters the US is a far cry from liberals whining and crying about imaginary crap like "xenophobic fascists".

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.2.1  devangelical  replied to  Texan1211 @2.2    10 months ago

republicans are too busy using immigration as a wedge issue instead of helping solve the problem.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.2  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @2.2.1    10 months ago
republicans are too busy using immigration as a wedge issue instead of helping solve the problem.

Democrats are too busy lying to the American public and letting well over a million aliens in, many of who WE are paying to feed, clothe, and shelter to ACTUALLY even recognize any problems.

Democratic "solutions" usually begin and end with amnesty, something which Democrats have already screwed the GOP over.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.2.3  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  devangelical @2.2.1    10 months ago
republicans are too busy using immigration as a wedge issue instead of helping solve the problem.

What do you propose to fix it? The only fix is to stop it in its tracks.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.4  Texan1211  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.2.3    10 months ago
What do you propose to fix it?

Mass amnesty and open borders, what else?

Oh, yeah.

Forgot the old standby fave--"comprehensive immigration reform"!

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.2.5  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Texan1211 @2.2.4    10 months ago

That's the problem. Immigration reform won't do shit. They will still cross over no matter what. Unless of course we make it you be here for a year and pay $20 for citizenship. There has to be a stop put to it.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.6  Texan1211  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.2.5    10 months ago

One thing I have rarely seen is any enforcement being talked about when it comes to that magical comprehensive immigration reform crap being spewed.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.2.7  devangelical  replied to  Texan1211 @2.2.2    10 months ago
Democrats are too busy lying to the American public and letting well over a million aliens in, many of who WE are paying to feed, clothe, and shelter to ACTUALLY even recognize any problems.

republicans don't even pay them enough for them to afford to leave...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.2.8  devangelical  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.2.3    10 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.9  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @2.2.7    10 months ago
republicans don't even pay them enough for them to afford to leave..

I guess Democrats pay them enough to come and stay--legally or illegally.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3  Texan1211    10 months ago

Just an end-around to amnesty by liberals.

"We don't need no stinking Congress to do stuff!".

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3.1  devangelical  replied to  Texan1211 @3    10 months ago

it's not the fault of kids born to trumpsters either...

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @3.1    10 months ago
it's not the fault of kids born to trumpsters either...

Thanks for that nonsensical reply, [deleted]

 
 
 
Snuffy
Professor Participates
4  Snuffy    10 months ago

As the Senate is currently working on The Secure the Border Act (which is unlikely to pass the Senate after it was passed in the House), why don't they try to bring the 580,310 who are already in this program and try to make some compromises to get the bill passed?  

 
 

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