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DACA Ruled Unlawful by Texan Federal Judge

Immigration Policy Brief # 126
By: Kathryn Baron | July 21, 2021

Header photo taken from: Politico

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Photo taken from: KVIA Channel 7

Policy Summary

On Friday, July 16, a Federal Judge in Texas ruled the Obama-era program that has protected more than 800,000 young immigrants brought to the US as children – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – from deportation as unlawful. The ruling asserted the Department of Homeland Security may no longer approve new applicants into the program but may continue to process existing DACA renewals while the issue moves through US courts. The ACLU’s Director of Immigrants’ Rights project found the decision to be amoral and subject to swift appeal

Policy Analysis

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) regarded this decision as affirmation the US cannot rely on temporary immigration compromises and instead requires true immigration reform. 

The need for a clear and comprehensive pathway to citizenship is crucial. 

President Biden and the National Immigration Law Center’s Director of Federal Advocacy referred to this decision as a disappointment that will create uncertain futures for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants.  

The Department of Justice intends to appeal this decision as soon as possible.

Photo taken from: Senator Robert Menendez

Democrats plan to include concrete immigration measures in an upcoming $3.5 trillion spending bill that will provide a clear pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, recipients of Temporary Protected Status, and essential workers.

Engagement Resources​

Click or tap on image to visit resource website.

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • The ACLU: a non-profit with a longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the individual rights and liberties the Constitution and US laws guarantee all its citizens. You can also donate monthly to counter Trump’s attacks on people’s rights. Recently, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the separation of families at the border.
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