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Attorney Comments on the Recent DACA Court Ruling

Another blow for all of us who support DREAMERs and the DACA program: a federal judge declared the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program illegal in a new court ruling.

The decision comes after a five-year long court battle which has caused many DREAMERs to be in constant fear of losing their employment authorization.

Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the District Court of Houston rejected the Biden administration’s efforts to save the DACA program, arguing that former President Barack Obama did not have the authority to create the program in 2012 by executive authority.

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 health care, 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.

In his ruling, Judge Hanen stopped short of terminating the program which will mean that current DACA recipients can retain their DACA benefits and apply for renewals with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, initial first-time applications for DACA will remain prohibited.

Attorney Acosta comments, “Sadly for our DREAMERs, they have been relegated to the status of political pawns. The fight against (or for) DACA is used by politicians at all levels when it becomes convenient for their election rhetoric. Polls have showed that Americans at large support having youth that are documented and are able to continue higher education and contribute to our society in the long run. We will continue to support the organizations like MALDEF who are fighting to keep DACA alive.”

Current DACA recipients should be very careful to apply for their work permits on time, prior to the expiration date. Due to the current court order, if they allow their permits to remain expired for too long, they may not be eligible to apply for the program again as renewal applicants.

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