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Federal judge says DACA program illegal but declines to order its termination

The 5th Circuit in October of last year ruled DACA illegal.

Published: September 13, 2023 6:23pm

A federal judge has ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is illegal, but declined to order the end of deportation protections for its recipients.

U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen on Wednesday specifically determined that the Biden administration's effort to codify the program through federal regulation was illegal, CBS News reported. He rejected a request from Republican states to order DACA's end over two years.

The program permitted illegal immigrants who either arrived in the country as children or who overstayed their visas while underage to avoid deportation and secure work authorization. Roughly 580,000 individuals have enrolled in DACA. Hanen in 2021 closed the program to new enrollees, but in that instance also permitted the program's continuance.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals oversees Hanen's jurisdiction and the Biden administration is expected to appeal his decision. The dispute may reach the Supreme Court.

The 5th Circuit in October of last year ruled DACA illegal.

"DACA creates a new class of otherwise removable aliens who may obtain lawful presence, work authorization, and associated benefits," the court wrote at the time. "Congress determined which aliens can receive these benefits, and it did not include DACA recipients among them."

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

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