Federal court hears appeals case to save Obama-era DACA program

Program put in place by former Democrat President Obama by executive order

Updated: July 6, 2022 - 10:11am

A federal appeals court will hear a case Wednesday in which advocates are trying to save the Obama-era program known as DACA that prevents the deportation of people brought into the U.S. when they were young.

Last year, a federal judge in Texas declared DACA illegal. However, he agreed to leave intact the program – more formally known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – for those already benefitting from it while his order is appealed, according to the Associated Press

The program put in place by former Democrat President Barack Obama kept thousands of illegal immigrants from being deported, in large part based on the argument they were brought to the U.S. as children by their parents, not on their own accord. 

The appeal is being heard by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Louisiana. 

DACA has faced several court challenges since Obama created it in 2012 by executive order. Former President Trump tried to end the program, but a Supreme Court decision determined he had not done it properly. The decision allowed for new applications, which were followed by the Texas-led lawsuit being heard Wednesday, the wire service also reports

The Justice Department is defending the program, allied with the state of New Jersey, advocacy organizations such as the Mexican-American Legal Defense and a coalition of corporations including Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft, the wire service also reports.They argue DACA recipients are “employees, consumers and job creators.”

Texas and eight other Republican-led states argue DACA was enacted by end-running proper legal and administrative procedures, including public notice and comment periods. 

Additionally, the states argue that they are harmed financially by allowing immigrants to remain in the country illegally, including the costs of education, healthcare and social services. 

DACA proponents argue that Texas attorneys haven’t proven that ending the program would decrease its costs and that DACA is a policy that falls within federal authorities’ power to decide how best to spend finite enforcement resources.

They also argue Texas has diminished its claims of financial injury by waiting six years to challenge the program and that the state has  ignored evidence that DACA recipients decrease Texas’ costs because many of them hold jobs with health insurance benefits and many own homes and pay property taxes that support schools, also according to the Associated Press.

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