A federal judge in Texas on July 16, ruled that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is unlawful, but allowed it to continue for current recipients.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling permits the continued processing of DACA renewals but does not allow for any new applications to be granted.
“It’s now up to Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform so that DREAMers can continue to build their lives in the U.S.”
Nina Perales, MALDEF
In Judge Hanen’s 77-page ruling, he concludes that DACA violates the Administrative Procedure Act. His ruling comes in response to a Texas-led, multi-state challenge to the legality of DACA. The case is known as Texas v. United States. MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) and co-counsel at Ropes & Gray represent 22 DACA recipients who intervened in the case because the Trump administration would never adequately defend the 2012 initiative in court.
MALDEF attorneys argued that the states failed to show injury from DACA’s implementation and that the initiative is a lawful exercise of presidential discretion.
“This case should never have been filed, and should never have progressed beyond its filing,” stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. “Current DACA recipients remain fully protected, but the decision threatens hundreds of thousands of others who should also be protected as they continue to contribute to the betterment of our nation. The decision was plainly determined by the judge’s views of many years ago, and the decision fails to reconcile important recent developments in the law of standing and of presidential authority; it therefore presents numerous grounds for potentially successful appeal.”
“Judge Hanen ruled that DACA will continue for current recipients, and he took special note of DACA recipients’ reliance for almost a decade on this policy. It’s now up to Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform so that DREAMers can continue to build their lives in the U.S.,” said Nina Perales, MALDEF Vice President of Litigation.
Douglas H. Hallward-Driemeier, pro bono counsel, Ropes & Gray LLP, stated: “While there was much about the court’s substantive analysis with which we disagree, we are heartened that Judge Hanen recognized the significant reliant interest of DACA recipients and accepted our request that in his order setting aside DACA, he stayed for current DACA recipients so they can continue to benefit from DACA, and so that their families and communities can continue to benefit from all that they contribute.”
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