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Federal Judge Rules to Stop New DACA Applications


On July 16, 2021, Federal Judge Andrew Haden ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is illegal and blocked the submission of new applications, although current beneficiaries can still renew their protections. While the future of the Obama-era initiative now rests with federal courts of appeals, the outlook appears very bleak. 

In 2017, the Trump administration tried to end DACA. However, the Supreme Court blocked its attempt in June 2020, citing that the Trump administration failed to follow certain administrative guidelines to terminate the program because there wasn’t a reasonable explanation to do so. 

But this recent ruling presented a different legal issue. While the 2020 case involved the authority of one president to overturn a previous president’s executive action, the 2021 court decision answered if DACA was constitutional in the first place. 

Judge Haden ruled that Congress failed to give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the power to create DACA and that it prevented immigration officials from enforcing the Immigration and Nationality Act’s removal provisions. He also added that the sudden termination of DACA would negatively impact the economy, since an estimated 700,000 undocumented immigrants—who arrived in the U.S. before turning 16 years old—along with their loved ones, employers, and individual states, have heavily relied on the program.

The lawsuit was originally filed by Texas and six other states (e.g., Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia), which claimed DACA was created by executive overreach and that states have experienced undue burden by running the program. In December 2020, Hanen heard oral arguments in the case. 

The case will then head to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considered one of the country’s most conservative federal courts of appeals. If the Fifth Circuit upholds Haden’s decision to end DACA and the Supreme Court rejects hearing the case—which it often does for most cases—then the program will come to an end. 

The only way DACA can be saved is if Congress passes legislation to provide a permanent solution for DACA recipients. The Democrats are currently pushing the Dream and Promise Act, which gives Dreamers a pathway to citizenship

If you are interested in renewing your DACA protections in Dallas, Fort Worth, or Denton, TX, contact Mathur Law Offices, P.C. today at (888) 867-5191 to learn how we can help you. Let a Board-Certified Immigration Specialist guide you through the legal process!