A Texas federal court ruled against the continuation of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.
Kyle Bragg, president of 32BJ SEIU, said that his union stands with the Dreamers and condemns the court decision while calling it a “last-ditch effort to accomplish the goals of former president Donald Trump’s administration.
“By impairing the ability of untold thousands to now apply for DACA, Judge Hanen has acted against the will of the American people, regardless of party, and in contradiction to the explicit movements in Congress to create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and millions of other immigrants,” said Bragg. “This unjust ruling must spur Congress to act faster by advancing citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants through this year’s budget reconciliation process. Judge Hanen’s decision is practically and morally flawed, but it underscores a potent truth—the time to act is now.”
Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that the entire DACA program violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which was passed in 1946 and establishes uniform rules and procedures for federal agencies. It is mostly focused on proposing and issuing regulations.
In the 77-page ruling, Hanen also said that “neither this order nor the accompanying injunction requires DHS or the Department of Justice to take any immigration, deportation, or criminal action against any DACA recipient, applicant, or any other individual that it would not otherwise take.”
Hanen has a reputation for being tough on immigration. Hanen was appointed during the George W. Bush administration.
U.S. President Joe Biden denounced the court decision and called for a lane for Dreamers to make citizenship a reality. He believes that this decision leaves DACA recipients in limbo.
“But only Congress can ensure a permanent solution by granting a path to citizenship for Dreamers that will provide the certainty and stability that these young people need and deserve,” said Biden in a White House statement. “I have repeatedly called on Congress to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, and I now renew that call with the greatest urgency. It is my fervent hope that through reconciliation or other means, Congress will finally provide security to all Dreamers, who have lived too long in fear.”
The American Dream and Promise Act would let Dreamers apply for permanent legal status with the end goal of becoming full U.S. citizens. It would also halt the deportation of undocumented people who have served in the military or have been in the states for four years before the bill’s passing. Dreamers would be allowed to apply after being a permanent resident in the country for five years without a criminal record.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten lambasted the court’s ruling, stating that keep the undocumented on edge is inhumane.
“No one should have to live in fear, with their fate dangling in the courts, so we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the rights of immigrants in this country,” said Weingarten. “The Biden administration and Congress must take action to permanently protect undocumented people—not just DACA recipients, but all 11 million undocumented people living in this country. We must work together to reaffirm what we know to be true: DACA recipients belong here.”
National Nurses United President Deborah Burger, RN also voiced her displeasure with the ruling, stating that it poses a threat to DACA recipients
“This is a cruel and heartless decision that jeopardizes the future and lives of up to 800,000 people who daily contribute to our society,” said Burger.