New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

The Future Of DACA Is Being Decided By The Judge Who Ruled Against It Before

Author: New York Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova

Immigration remains one of the hottest topics in the debate among members of the state and federal governments. The latest episode of this ongoing saga involves the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This article will delve into the details of the hearing. It will also explore the potential impact it could have on the lives of all immigrants, whether they are recipients of DACA or not.

Details of the Case

In simple terms, nine state governments have accused the federal government of a number of charges. These include implementing DACA without the authority of Congress and continuing the program in ways that adversely affect those states. The presiding judge heard arguments from both sides on Thursday but has not yet made a ruling on the case. This is just the latest in a long line of protests against the program.

Background History of a Long-standing Debate

Indeed, DACA has been under fire from the very first moment it was implemented by Barack Obama in 2012.

In 2016, the Supreme Court split equally on a ruling about DACA, a decision that ultimately kept the program alive. Under Donald Trump, plans to expand DACA were stopped outright while the existing program was being reviewed. The result of the review was an effort to scrap DACA, which resulted in many legal battles. In this most recent court hearing, the DACA program faces a truly pivotal legal challenge. The outcome of this case has far-reaching implications for the 700,000 current DACA recipients living in the US. However, it also has significant influence on the much broader conversation surrounding immigration reform in the country.

In 2016, the Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 over an expanded DACA and a version of the program for parents of DACA recipients. In 2020, the high court ruled 5-4 that the Trump administration improperly ended DACA, allowing it to stay in place. In 2021, Judge Hanen ruled on DACA , finding it unconstitutional and stopping the government from accepting new applicants. This was in response to President Biden’s order to reinstate it. In 2022, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld Hanen’s earlier ruling declaring DACA illegal, but sent the case back to him to review changes made to the program by the Biden administration.

The Court Hearing

Now, the case before the federal judge involves nine states, including Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, all arguing that DACA should be scrapped. Here are excerpts from both sides of the argument:

Those Against DACA

During the court hearing, state attorneys argued that DACA exceeded the limits of executive power and urged the court to invalidate it. Their argument is that Obama was at fault for skipping Congress in the creation of DACA. In addition, the state’s legal teams cited hundreds of millions in expenses incurred because of illegal immigrants. They view DACA as an unconstitutional exercise of executive power and aim to dismantle it. Their solution is comprehensive immigration reform through legislative channels.

Those in Support of DACA

Meanwhile, defenders of the program countered that Congress gave DHS the authority to set immigration policy. They also highlighted its positive influence on the lives of nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Supporters of DACA also call out the lack of evidence that the burden of immigrants has anything to do with DACA recipients. Many recipients of the DACA program came to the US as children, some of whom were just months old. These people have grown up in the US, and they have become integral members of their communities.

With DACA’s protection, they have pursued higher education, obtained gainful employment, and made valuable contributions to essential industries, including healthcare and education. They have also paid a not insignificant amount in taxes over the years. The case being made is that removing these individuals from the country would not only devastate their lives but also deprive American society of their talents and potential.

Broader Implications

The legality and constitutionality of DACA have been the topic of much debate, and the court’s decision in this case holds profound consequences beyond the immediate fate of DACA recipients. It has the potential to set a precedent for other executive actions related to immigration. A ruling against DACA could undermine other policies reliant on executive discretion, while a favourable ruling could strengthen the legal foundation for similar actions in the future.

The Quest for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Continues

The DACA program’s fate is merely a small part of the larger debate on immigration reform in the United States. While Congress has made attempts to address this issue in the past, bipartisan efforts have fallen short, leaving the fate of millions of immigrants in legal limbo. A ruling in favor of DACA could breathe new life into legislative discussions, fostering momentum towards a more comprehensive and enduring solution to immigration challenges.

Regardless of the outcome, the fate of DACA hangs in the balance, and the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, their families, and their communities are at stake. The final verdict will shape the trajectory of national immigration policy.

06 June 2023
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