Nuevo Culture

Texas Judge Rules DACA Illegal (Again) — Here’s What This Means for Dreamers

On Wednesday (September 13), Texas-based U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful. This was the same conclusion Hanen reached in 2021, which prevented its expansion.

DACA affects 579,000 “Dreamers,” children who were brought into the U.S. without documentation. Since this program has been in place since the Obama administration, many Dreamers are now adults with full-time careers and families of their own.

“As we have long maintained, we disagree with the District Court’s conclusion that DACA is unlawful, and will continue to defend this critical policy from legal challenges,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “While we do so, consistent with the court’s order, DHS will continue to process renewals for current DACA recipients and DHS may continue to accept DACA applications.”

President Joe Biden’s administration hoped to codify DACA, but now the ruling is expected to be appealed and will likely head to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The ruling preserves the stay, which means current DACA recipients will not lose their protection from removal,” Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement. “But this ruling does undermine the security and stability of more than half a million Dreamers who have contributed to our communities.”

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, approximately 81% of Dreamers are from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. California is home to 164,000 DACA recipients, and Texas is home to 95,000.