Federal judge confirms 2021 decision finding DACA unlawful

HOUSTON, Texas (OSV News) –A federal judge declared unlawful a revised version of a program that offers deportation relief to immigrants brought to the country as children. In his Sept. 13 ruling, Texas-based U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen found that despite President Joe Biden’s administration taking measures to strengthen the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the deficiencies that led him to find DACA unlawful in 2021 remain. “The solution for these deficiencies lies with the legislature, not the executive or judicial branches,” he wrote. First implemented in 2012, the DACA program allows certain undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States as children — commonly known as “dreamers” — to be protected from deportation and be eligible to apply for work authorization. It has nearly 600,000 recipients, for whom the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has expressed support. With his decision, Hanen blocked new enrollments to the program, but said it would not affect those enrolled before the judge’s 2021 ruling. The Sept. 13 ruling is expected to be appealed and ultimately go to the U.S. Supreme Court — which would mark the third time the program’s fate is before the high court.

(This is the brief of a developing story that will be updated. For the full OSV News story, see your local Catholic news source.)

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