Republicans Move To Take Down DACA

Photo by Luke Michael on Unsplash

On Tuesday (January 31), nine Republican-led states asked a federal court in Texas to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that shields so-called “Dreamers” from deportation.

DACA is an Obama administration policy that protected undocumented migrants who entered the U.S. as minors from being deported. Since its inception, the policy has faced legal challenges from conservative groups and Republican-led states, often arguing it is unlawful.

In a court filing made on Tuesday, the coalition of nine GOP-led states, led by Texas, asked that DACA be declared “unlawful” and “unconstitutional” by the Southern District federal court.

In the filing, the nine states ask that DACA be prevented from accepting new applicants and request that in two years, renewals be prohibited.

At the behest of the same group of states, the Southern District Court ruled that DACA’s creation and “continued operation” meant the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

However, in that 2021 ruling, the judge in question, Andrew Hanen, allowed current Dreamers to renew their status.

At the time, Hanen based his ruling on DACA created by a memo from the Obama administration, which wasn’t a formal rule.

However, since then, in August last year, the DHS issued a final regulation replacing the memo and codifying DACA to allow new applicants starting in October.

The coalition of nine states is asking Hanen to review the Biden administration’s regulation, claiming it is illegal for many of the same reasons the Obama memo was.