A federal judge has deemed the DACA program, which has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation, illegal. President Joe Biden pledges a Justice Department appeal.
He said in a statement that Friday’s decision was “deeply disappointing,” and although the judge’s order did not affect those already covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, it ”relegates hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to an uncertain future.”
The program has allowed thousands of young people who were brought illegally into the United States as children, or overstayed visas, to live, work and remain in the country. Many of the recipients, commonly known as “Dreamers,” have now been in the U.S. for a decade or longer.
But Texas and eight other states sued to halt DACA, arguing that President Barack Obama lacked the power to create the program because it circumvented Congress. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Houston agreed, and while his ruling left the program intact for existing recipients, it barred the government from approving any new applications.