September 18, 2023
Immigrant rights advocates are urging Congress to create a permanent solution for undocumented immigrants, after a federal judge last week ruled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals illegal again.
The decision does not change anything for DACA recipients or potential applicants. No new applications will be accepted, but current DACA recipients are still able to apply to renew their status every two years.
District Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas first found DACA unlawful in 2022, after Texas and other states sued the U.S. government over the program. In his ruling, he said part of what made it unlawful was because when President Barack Obama first created the program, there was no public comment period. President Joe Biden responded by issuing a new rule and opening a public comment period, and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to Hanen to decide whether this would change his ruling. Last week, Hanen declared the new rule did not change anything, and he again found DACA to be illegal.
The decision is likely to be appealed and eventually end up in the Supreme Court, a process that could take years.
Many immigrant rights organizations condemned the judge’s decision and called for a permanent solution.
“As a former DACA recipient, I’m deeply disappointed by Judge Hanen’s latest ruling against DACA. It’s disheartening to see this happen yet again,” said Iliana Perez, executive director of Immigrants Rising, an organization based in San Francisco. “As DACA’s fate heads towards the Supreme Court, it emphasizes the urgent need for a bipartisan, long-term policy solution not just for DACA recipients but for all deserving undocumented immigrants in our country.”