We are saddened to report that late Friday, July 16, 2021, Federal Judge Andrew Hanen of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, granted the plaintiffs in the case, State of Texas, et al., vs. United States of America, et.al, a permanent injunction, pending ongoing litigation over the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
As a result, new first-time applications for the DACA program will no longer be approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) following Judge Hanen’s ruling. Friday’s decision in Texas v. United States is sure to be appealed, though there is a reasonable chance it will be upheld, especially by the conservative leaning Supreme Court of the United States.
In his ruling, Federal Judge Hanen declared that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) with the initial creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and its continued operation. Accordingly, he has ordered that the DACA Memorandum and the subsequent creation of the DACA program be vacated and remanded to DHS for further consideration.
This action removes protections from deportation for thousands of undocumented young adults who came to the United States as children, otherwise known as Dreamers, and casts doubt on the future of the program.
Judge Hanen specifically stated that his ruling does not impact the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients and others who have relied on the DACA program for almost a decade. This means that while new first-time applications for DACA will no longer be adjudicated by USCIS, Hanen’s ruling will not impact current DACA recipients.