A federal appeals court found on Wednesday that a program that has prevented the deportation of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants was illegal. Still, it also noted that participants might renew their status and remanded the matter to a lower court so that it can take into account a new Biden administration policy.
A lower court’s decision to reject the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was upheld by a panel of three judges from the conservative-leaning 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals. However, the case was remanded in light of an August rule change.
The new regulation tries to fortify the scheme against judicial challenges.
US President Joe Biden, a Democrat, said he wants to provide DACA participants, sometimes referred to as “Dreamers,” with a permanent road to citizenship.
Biden stated in a statement issued hours after the judgment that “today’s decision is the consequence of continuing attempts by Republican state authorities to deprive DACA participants of the protections and work authorization that many have now maintained for over a decade.”
It is time for Congress to provide permanent protections for Dreamers, including citizenship routes. “And while we will utilize the tools we have to let Dreamers live and work in the one nation they know as home,” the statement said.
The court upheld the current DACA enrollment of 594,000 people but continued to reject new applications.
The 5th Circuit, which remanded the case, said that it had sufficient evidence to decide about the new regulation, which is scheduled to go into effect on October 31, but that the matter should be settled as soon as possible.
The justices’ doubts about DACA’s constitutionality were evident from the 46-page judgment.
“According to them, the defendants “have not shown that there is a possibility that they would triumph on the merits.”
After attempts by the US Congress to provide citizenship to immigrants brought to the nation as minors failed, former president Barack Obama, a Democrat whom Biden served as vice president, established DACA in 2012.
In 2018, Texas and a group of states with Republican attorneys general file a lawsuit to repeal DACA, claiming it administered unlawfully. Judge Andrew Hanen of the US District Court in Texas ruled with the states in July 2021.
Hanen’s ruling prohibited the processing of new DACA applications, but it permitted current DACA holders to keep receiving benefits and submit renewal applications.
The Biden administration challenged the ruling, sending the matter to the 5th Circuit.
DACA recipients are eligible for financial help for school, work permits, Social Security numbers, and in certain areas, driver’s licenses.
Insecurity and legal squabbling have plagued DACA participants for years. Former Republican President Donald Trump, Biden’s predecessor, attempt to halt the program but thwart by the Supreme Court.
A Republican appointment of former President George W. Bush wrote the ruling that’s release on Wednesday, and two Trump appointees support him.
The Agency of Justice “respectfully disagrees with the ruling and will continue to vehemently defend the legality of DACA as this litigation unfolds,” a representative for the department said. The office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott did not immediately answer an inquiry for comment.
A legislative resolution before the Nov. 8 midterm elections is improbable since Republicans and Democrats haven’t found any common ground on immigration in recent years, despite Biden’s campaign promise to work for a long-term solution for the “Dreamers.”
Mario Lorenzana De Witt, a 27-year-old Syracuse, New York medical student and DACA holder expressed relief at being able to continue renewing his visa.
“However, the limbo continues and uncertainty still exists, “added said. “We must have a route to citizenship,”