WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden described a federal judge’s decision to curtail a program that shields undocumented migrants brought to the nation as youngsters as “very sad.”
Biden said in a statement from the White House that the Justice Department would appeal Judge Andrew Hanen’s decision, but that “only Congress can secure a permanent solution by offering a path to citizenship for Dreamers,” the young people brought to the United States as children.
In June 2020, advocates of DACA were granted a temporary reprieve when the Supreme Court declared, 5-4, which the Trump administration had failed to offer sufficient grounds for its attempts to stop the program.
It made it apparent that thus was mostly ruling on procedural concerns, and it left the door open to subsequent challenges. However, Hanen’s decision was limited. If the issue returns to the top court, it’s uncertain how the nine justices will rule.
Around 700,000 people are covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was established by then-President Barack Obama in 2012 and grants them legal status as well as the right to work. Many people consider America to be the only country they have ever known.
Hanen ruled that Obama overstepped his jurisdiction when he implemented DACA by executive order. He described the directive as “illegal.” Hanen stated that the government must suspend allowing people into the program, while he acknowledged that applications might still be received.
He stated that the order did not obligate the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Justice to “take any immigration, deportation, or criminal action against any DACA beneficiary, applicant, or any other individual that it would not take otherwise.” The decision had no immediate impact on those who had previously been admitted into the program.
To be eligible for DACA, applicants must have arrived in the United States before the age of sixteen. Applicants must be enrolled in school or have a high school diploma or equivalent, or have served in the military and have a clean criminal record.
In 2017, as part of a broader effort to curtail immigration, then-President Donald Trump attempted to repeal DACA, claiming Obama had overstepped his constitutional authority.
This sparked a protracted legal battle that culminated in the case being heard by the Supreme Court last year. After that, DACA was revived. Biden has worked to strengthen the program as well as pursue broader immigration reform since taking office.
Democrats in Congress have campaigned for legislation to permanently resolve the status of the children who arrived as children, but immigration laws have long been blocked due to Republican resistance.
Obama repeated Biden’s appeal for Congress to find a lasting solution for the Dreamers in a tweet on Saturday.
“Dreamers have been watching judges and politicians dispute whether they will be permitted to stay in the only nation many of them have ever known for more than nine years. He wrote, “It’s long past time for Congress to act and provide them with the protection and certainty they deserve.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Republicans in Congress to “join us in respecting the will of the American people and the law, to ensuring that Dreamers have a permanent route to citizenship” following Friday’s ruling.