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Federal judge rules DACA program for undocumented ‘Dreamer’ children illegal

A federal judge in Texas has again ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects undocumented immigrants brought to the United States when they were young, is illegal.

Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas ruled that DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which defines how agencies develop regulations.

The ruling does not affect anyone currently protected by DACA, but the judge barred the government from approving anyone else for it.

“To be clear, neither this order nor the accompanying additional injunction requires the (Department of Homeland Security) or the Department of Justice to take any immigration, deportation, or criminal action against any recipient , applicant, or any other DACA person who would otherwise not be taken,” Judge Hanen wrote.

Texas and eight other states have sued to end the Obama-era DACA program and the decision is now expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for a third time.

The states argued that the Obama administration bypassed Congress and lacked the authority to create DACA in 2012.

The judge previously declared DACA illegal in 2021, saying it had not been subject to the public notice and comment periods required under the federal Administrative Procedure Act.


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