Federal Court Rules DACA Illegal

The court heard an appeal after a lower court also ruled the program illegal.

QUICK FACTS:
  • The 5th Circuit United States Court of Appeals moved contrary to what the Biden administration had hoped, ruling that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is illegal.
  • The program applies to young illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by a parent or guardian and allows them time to apply for legal citizenship.
  • The court upheld a lower court’s opinion that the DACA program was illegal because it did not undergo a notice and comment procedure required by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
  • “DACA created a detailed, streamlined process for granting enormously significant, predefined benefits to over 800,000 people,” Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Priscilla Richman wrote. “This constitutes a substantive rule. Because DACA did not undergo notice and comment, it violates the procedural requirements of the APA.”
STATEMENT FROM THE PRESIDENT:
  • “I am disappointed in today’s Fifth Circuit decision holding that DACA is unlawful. The court’s stay provides a temporary reprieve for DACA recipients but one thing remains clear: the lives of Dreamers remain in limbo,” Biden said in a statement published on the White House’s website.
  • “Today’s decision is the result of continued efforts by Republican state officials to strip DACA recipients of the protections and work authorization that many have now held for over a decade. And while we will use the tools we have to allow Dreamers to live and work in the only country they know as home, it is long past time for Congress to pass permanent protections for Dreamers, including a pathway to citizenship,” Biden went on. 
  • Biden ended his comments by blaming Republicans, saying, “My Administration is committed to defending Dreamers against attacks from Republican officials in Texas and other States. This challenge to DACA is just another example of the extreme agenda being pushed by MAGA-Republican officials.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Biden previously attempted to change the legal status of around 600,000 children of illegal aliens with a directive that would have formalized DACA.
  • The legal status of the young illegal immigrants has been in jeopardy ever since a Texas judge ruled the program was illegal early in Biden’s time in office.