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District Court Judge declares the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as illegal.


In a significant legal ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen has declared the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as illegal. Despite this determination, Judge Hanen has refrained from ordering the immediate termination of deportation protections for DACA recipients. The Biden administration's effort to legitimize the program through federal regulation was deemed unlawful, as confirmed by Judge Hanen. Notably, a request from Republican states to terminate DACA within two years was also denied.


Under this program, undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children or violated their visas while underage have been shielded from deportation and granted work authorization. An estimated 580,000 individuals have enrolled in DACA, with the program being closed to new applicants by Judge Hanen in 2021.


The jurisdiction of Judge Hanen's ruling falls under the purview of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. It is anticipated that the Biden administration will appeal this decision, further prolonging the legal dispute. With the possibility of the case reaching the Supreme Court, the future of DACA hangs in the balance.


Notably, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals had already ruled DACA as illegal in October of the previous year. In their ruling, the court highlighted that DACA creates a distinct group of individuals who can obtain legal presence, work authorization, and associated benefits. This classification, according to the court, surpasses the scope of those designated by Congress to receive such benefits, explicitly excluding DACA recipients from that category.

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