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A federal judge in Texas declined to put an immediate halt to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program Friday, even as he said the program is probably illegal. In the case, Texas and nine other states have sued to end DACA, claiming that former President Barack Obama acted unlawfully when he created the program in 2012.
Background: DACA has been the source of extensive litigation this year. President Donald Trump moved to end the program last year, but plaintiffs sued and federal courts in California, New York and Washington, D.C. all ruled that the administration must continue accepting renewal applications while legal challenges play out. The Texas case is different because it does not challenge Trump’s decision to end DACA, but rather whether Obama had the legal authority to establish it in the first place. A ruling in favor of the states on the merits of their case, which seems likely based on Hanen’s reasoning, could set up a scenario where the U.S. Supreme Court would weigh in to determine the legality of DACA and Trump’s decision to end it.
BAL Analysis: The ruling means that for the time being, DHS will continue accepting renewal applications, but not new applications under the DACA program. BAL will continue to provide updates as the DACA litigation continues in federal courts in Texas and elsewhere.
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