Judge rejects motion to halt immigrant Dreamer program, but hints he will ultimately rule against DACA
- The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protects ‘Dreamers’ – immigrants who entered the country illegally as children – from deportation
- A federal judge rejected a motion Friday to immediately block DACA , saying it would be harmful to end it abruptly and eight states were late with legal action
- The judge alluded to its eventual demise, saying the program was likely illegal
A federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled against immediately halting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – but indicated that his final decision in the case will likely kill the program.
DACA shields an estimated 700,000 immigrants – known as ‘Dreamers’ – from deportation because their parents brought them to the U.S. as minors.
Texas and seven other states are suing the federal government in an effort to end DACA, arguing that the program harms the states and their residents. The Trump administration has refused to defend DACA, leaving immigrant advocacy groups to take up the cause in court.
Immigrants and their allies begin a 15-day walk from New York City’s Battery Park to Washington D.C. in an effort to draw attention to the need to protect ‘Dreamers’ in February
The program is probably illegal and its defenders will likely lose in their efforts to preserve it, wrote District Judge Andrew Hanen in his decision rejecting a motion to block DACA from continuing.
While Hanen said DACA is likely illegal, he cited two reasons for not granting an injunction to immediately put a stop to it.
The first issue was timeliness; Hanen said that by waiting five years to file legal actions the states failed to prove DACA was immediately harmful and meriting urgent action.
The second issue was that ending the program would be harmful because it had already been in effect for years.
‘The egg has been scrambled,’ Hanen wrote. ‘To try to put it back in the shell with only a preliminary injunction record, and perhaps at great risk to many, does not make sense nor serve the best interests of this country.’
Many legal experts expected Hanen to rule against DACA in Friday’s decision because he had previously blocked the implementation of a similar program that would have protected parents of U.S. citizens who were in the country illegally from being deported and separated from their children.
Had Hanen ruled in favor of an injunction halting DACA immediately, it would have triggered a conflict with three federal orders in other states that have required the U.S. government to keep accepting program renewals despite President Donald Trump’s efforts to end the program last year.
Asian American Dreamers and their allies rally in New York City in October 2017 in support of DACA