Federal appeals court rules DACA is illegal, dealing major blow to liberals

DACA creates a new class of otherwise removable aliens without Congress’ approval, court ruled.

Updated: October 6, 2022 - 7:59am

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A federal appeals court declared Wednesday that the Obama-Biden era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was illegal, dealing a major blow to a liberal initiative that allowed  illegal migrants who came to America as children to escape deportation.

The ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen for further consideration, temporarily leaving DACA in place for current beneficiaries.

Most observers expect the case to eventually land at the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices twice before punted on the core issue of whether the program is legal.

The appeals court affirmed Hanen’s earlier ruling in Texas that DACA was illegal, granting status to certain migrants that Congress had never authorized.

“The district court’s excellent opinion correctly identified fundamental substantive defects in the program. The DACA memorandum contracts significant parts of the [Immigration and Naturalization Act],” the appeals court wrote.

“DACA creates a new class of otherwise removable aliens who may obtain lawful presence, work authorization, and associated benefits,” it added. “Congress determined which aliens can receive these benefits, and it did not include DACA recipients among them.”

President Joe Biden said he was “disappointed” by the decision, saying “the lives of Dreamers remain in limbo.” He urged Congress to act before the courts finished their work.

“It is long past time for Congress to pass permanent protections for Dreamers, including a pathway to citizenship,” he added.

You can read the ruling here: