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Federal Judge Declares DACA Illegal, But Refuses to Order Deportations

On Wednesday, a federal judge declared that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program granting amnesty to illegal alien minors is unconstitutional, but refused to order that all DACA recipients be deported.

As reported by Just The News, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that the Biden Administration’s attempts to codify DACA into law via federal regulation was illegal. But in his ruling, Hanen also rejected a request by Republican states to order an official end to the program.

DACA was created in the aftermath of the failed DREAM Act, a broad amnesty bill that failed to pass through Congress during Barack Obama’s presidency. Obama instead decided to simply enact the DREAM Act through an executive order, which became the DACA program; as such, DACA has drawn widespread criticism for being blatantly unconstitutional in its origins and implementations, but many judges have refused to take direct action to end it.

Judge Hanen had previously ruled against DACA in 2021, ordering that no new enrollees be accepted due to its unconstitutionality, while at the same time refusing to remove protections for then-current applicants. At the time, approximately 580,000 illegal aliens had applied for amnesty through the program. DACA guarantees protection from deportation and also gives a fast-track for work authorization to illegals who arrived to the U.S. as children or overstayed their visas as minors.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, under which Judge Hanen serves, ruled in October that DACA was illegal, with the court’s ruling saying that “DACA creates a new class of otherwise removable aliens who may obtain lawful presence, work authorization, and associated benefits. Congress determined which aliens can receive these benefits, and it did not include DACA recipients among them.”

The Biden Administration is expected to appeal Judge Hanen’s ruling, with the dispute likely to reach the Supreme Court in the future.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for Alecto Alecto says:

    If the program and the procedures attempting to enshrine it under law are unconstitutional/illegal, then the remedy is deportation. Is it within Hanen’s pay grade to decide the remedy is not what the law says it is? Any person in the U.S. illegally is subject to deportation according to the laws of the United States, not some judge’s opinion. If DACA is unconstitutional, it’s dead. If illegal aliens face no legal consequences, there is no citizenship, no country and we should all stop paying all taxes to anything claiming to represent us.

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