Federal court ruling that DACA is illegal is regressive, abhorrent and utterly despicable

Today’s decision made by Federal District Court Judge Andrew Hanen to permanently enjoin the DACA program for undocumented youth is regressive, abhorrent and utterly despicable.

What this means for DACA recipients:

  • Judge Hanen recognizes that “hundreds of thousands of individual DACA recipients, along with their employers, states, and loved ones, have come to rely on the DACA program.” For this reason, he does not order that DACA be terminated immediately.
  • The June 15, 2021 DACA memo and the DACA program are vacated, which means they are now ended.
  • Effective immediately, DHS cannot continue administering DACA in its current form, according to this ruling. Judge Hanen determined that the Obama Administration did not follow the proper procedure through the Administrative Procedure Act to create DACA in the first place. Therefore, DACA in its current form is illegal.
  • As of the date of this order, DHS cannot grant ANY new DACA applications that are pending right now (for context: over 50,000 DACA applications were submitted this year alone).
  • However, because of the Supreme Court’s DACA decision from June 2020, DHS can continue accepting new applications. But under Judge Hanen’s order from today, it cannot grant them unless this court, or a higher court, decides that it can.
  • For people that currently hold DACA, or have renewals pending, nothing changes for them for right now. Judge Hanen specifically stayed today’s order for this population until there is a further order from this court, or a higher court, that weighs in on this question.

RAICES supports thousands of DACA recipients and helps hundreds of undocumented youth file new applications in Texas every year. Many of our staff members are DACA recipients. This decision will spread fear and confusion throughout our workforce and our community, a community that has already been devastated by the impact of COVID-19, xenophobia, and the decision-making paralysis in Congress.

Judge Hanen’s rash decision reiterates the immediate need for Congress and the Biden administration to keep their promise and create a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented people in the United States. The time for waiting is over.

RAICES will be heading to D.C. to demand citizenship and dignity for immigrants in this country. We welcome everyone to join us on this caravan to D.C. leaving San Antonio on July 24th.

Press contact: Jessica Ortiz, [email protected]