The DACA Ruling: Understanding Recent Developments

In a recent turn of events, Judge Hanen in Texas issued a nationwide ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Unsurprisingly, the judge deemed the eleven-year-old program illegal. In light of this decision, we wanted to take a moment to walk through the implications of these rulings.

Currently, things haven’t really changed much for DACA recipients. So, let’s take a closer look at what this recent ruling means and how we’re here to keep supporting DACA recipients as they navigate the immigration system.

The DACA Program: An 11-Year Legacy

June marked the eleventh anniversary of DACA, a program that has been a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. We shared a blog post in June about the history and developments of the program here, if you’d like to learn more.

Introduced in 2012, it was intended to provide temporary relief (deferred action) from deportation for “Dreamers” — undocumented migrants who came to the US as children. It also provides recipients with work authorization and allows Dreamers to contribute to American society, pursue their education, and build lives without the constant fear of being separated from their families. However, DACA is a temporary status and does not lead to permanent status, such as a green card or citizenship and it must be renewed every two years. Introduced by President Obama, it was meant to be a “temporary stopgap;” eleven years later, Dreamers are still waiting on a permanent solution.

Judge Hanen’s Ruling: An Unsurprising Outcome

In its eleven years, DACA has faced multiple legal battles. Many states and even the Trump administration tried to shut it down, making Dreamers fear deportation and family separation. So, unfortunately, Judge Hanen’s recent ruling declaring DACA illegal did not take us, and many others, by surprise. 

Hanen already declared DACA illegal in 2021, arguing that its creation went beyond President Obama’s authority and shouldn’t have been put into effect. As a result, DACA was, and still is, barred to new applicants. In response, Biden rolled out a “new” DACA in 2022. However, Hanen continues to assert that the program is unlawful. Texas and eight other states have sued to put an end to DACA. It is expected that this ruling and lawsuit will be appealed to the Supreme Court, leaving the fate of the program in the high court’s hands for the third time.

DACA’s been in quite a few legal fights over the years, but it’s shown time and again that its beneficiaries deserve a chance to thrive in the only country they’ve ever called home. We hope that, once again, the Supreme Court makes the right decision to continue to protect Dreamers.

What Changes and What Stays the Same?

Despite the ruling, we want to clarify what changes and what remains the same for DACA recipients:

New Applications: No new DACA applications will be processed under the current circumstances. However, this has been the case since Hanen’s ruling in 2021.

Renewals: DACA beneficiaries can still renew their DACA status as they have been doing. This means they can continue to live and work in the United States without interruption.

Advance Parole: DACA recipients can still apply for advance parole, allowing them to travel abroad for specific reasons, such as education, employment, or humanitarian purposes.

Essentially, nothing has changed for Dreamers. However, this does not mean that Judge Hanen’s actions are by any means acceptable. Despite his actions having no legal ramifications currently, the message he is sending is beyond harmful. Dreamers contribute to American society just as much, if not more, as documented immigrants and citizens. They deserve the respect DACA status aims to grant them in the only country they call home.

Our Response: Standing with DACA Recipients

Although we are unsurprised by Judge Hanen’s actions, we are no less disheartened. We understand the frustration and uncertainty that Dreamers face, but we want to reassure you that you are not alone in this journey. We are grateful that this decision does not have an impact on the legal status of Dreamers and change how they currently lead their daily lives. 

The program’s resilience over the years has proven that the fight for justice and a pathway to citizenship is far from over. At Hope Immigration, we stand firmly with Dreamers and are dedicated to helping them achieve their dreams in the United States.

If you are a DACA recipient or have questions about immigration matters, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Together, we can navigate the challenges and work towards a brighter future for all Dreamers.



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