Judge orders U.S. to close DACA program to new applicants, calling it illegal

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Judge orders U.S. to close DACA program to new applicants, calling it illegal
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Judge orders U.S. to close DACA program to new applicants, calling it illegal
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A federal judge in Texas ordered the U.S. government on Friday to close the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to new applicants, saying the Obama administration did not have the legal authority to grant deportation relief and work permits to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

Granting a request by Texas and other Republican-led states, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen required the Biden administration to stop approving new applications for DACA, blocking tens of thousands of immigrant teenagers and young adults from accessing the Obama-era legal protections.

Hanen, who was appointed to the federal bench by former President George W. Bush, did not order the government to strip the work permits and deportation protections from the 616,000 immigrants who are already enrolled in DACA. Current enrollees will still be eligible to renew their work permits and deportation deferrals.

An abrupt cancellation of DACA would not serve “equity,” Hanen argued, saying the government could address the program’s “legal defects” through forthcoming regulations.

“Hundreds of thousands of individual DACA recipients, along with their employers, states, and loved ones, have come to rely on the DACA program,” Hanen said in his order. “Given those interests, it is not equitable for a government program that has engendered such significant reliance to terminate suddenly.”

In addition to questioning DACA’s overall legality, Hanen ruled that the Obama administration violated federal administrative law when establishing the policy through a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo, as opposed to a regulation open to comments from the public.

You can read the rest of Camilo Montoya-Galvez’s article at CBSnews.com

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