Biden Plans to Appeal Federal Judge “Dreamers” Decision | North West

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden has said the United States will appeal a ruling by a federal judge that the DACA program protecting hundreds of thousands of “dreamers” who came to the country as children was put into effect. works unconstitutionally, and he renewed his call on Congress to agree on a permanent solution. .

“Yesterday’s Federal Court decision is deeply disappointing,” Biden said in a statement Saturday. “The Department of Justice intends to appeal this decision in order to preserve and strengthen the DACA. “

Houston District Judge Andrew Hanen released his ruling on Friday in a lawsuit brought by Republican-led states over the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals, which has been implemented by the administration Obama on behalf of nearly 650,000 dreamers who are fighting to stay in the country.

“Although Congress may one day enact such a dream law, until it does, its continued failure to pass bills coextensive with the DACA population is a testament to rejection of this policy. Hanen said in a 77-page decision, which noted widespread sympathy for dreamers. “As much as this court might agree with those sentiments, and as popular as this program may be, the proper point of origin for DACA was, and is, Congress. “

The move comes amid a lingering humanitarian crisis: since the start of the year, US authorities have apprehended or denied entry to more than 200,000 Central Americans at the southern US border, expelling many of them. them to Mexico.

Hanen said it would disrupt the Dreamers’ lives in the existing program too much to end it immediately. He ordered the US Department of Homeland Security to continue renewing permits for current registrants and not reject any renewals due to his order, while giving Congress and the administration time to find a way to remedy. to the legal flaws that plagued the program.

Biden said the decision underscores the urgency for Congress, through the process known as reconciliation or other means, to pass legislation to “finally provide safety to all Dreamers, who have lived too long. in fear”.

One of Biden’s first actions as president was an executive order for DHS to “preserve and fortify” DACA, and the agency said it would go through the formal rulemaking process. Texas claims former President Barack Obama illegally jumped. The United States House has passed a bill to give all DACA beneficiaries legal permanent residence. A bipartisan companion bill protecting the Dreamers is under consideration in the Senate.

While none of the young people are at immediate risk of deportation or loss of work permits, the judge did say that saving Dreamers was a job for Congress and the Biden administration, which did not until now failed to agree on what to do with them. The court challenge moves to the conservative New Orleans Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which now includes six judges appointed by former President Donald Trump.

Hanen’s ruling ultimately gets the case back on track for the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in June 2020 that Trump cannot arbitrarily terminate DACA without following federal rule-making procedures and providing a good explanation. The Texas challenge posed the same legal question in reverse, as to whether Obama violated federal procedures when he implemented DACA without Congressional approval in 2012.

Friday’s decision came as no surprise, given Hanen’s previous finding in a related case that DACA seemed unconstitutional, but ending it would be like trying to crack an egg.

Hanen ruled that Obama had skipped the same required rule-making steps as Trump. But the judge indicated that DACA could still be saved if the Biden administration gave the public time to comment on a new version of DACA before a reconstructed program was put in place.

Representatives for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has led the states’ fight against DACA, did not immediately respond to requests for comment by phone and email.

The Dreamers were supported in court by a broad coalition of civil rights groups, professional associations, health care organizations and academic institutions.

They argued that DACA recipients will contribute up to $ 460 billion to U.S. gross domestic product by 2028, according to a study by the Center for American Progress. Companies will have to spend $ 6.3 billion to hire replacements if the Dreamers lose their jobs, according to the study.

Texas has claimed to spend at least $ 250 million a year to provide education, health care and law enforcement services to undocumented immigrants, which justifies protecting the courts from financial damage from the program.

Hanen said Friday that the Fifth Circuit has already rejected the balancing argument that the Dreamers’ economic contribution outweighs their social cost to the states where they live and receive services. But he clearly wanted to avoid throwing the lives of so many young people into chaos, saying they were on the wrong side of the law through no fault of their own.

Texas, in addition to the DACA challenge, also persuaded a federal judge to block the plan Biden announced after he took office in January to suspend deportations of undocumented immigrants for 100 days. The proposed deportation freeze was part of a larger effort to roll back Trump’s policies and work on nationwide immigration reform.

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