Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is still in legal limbo. Barack Obama made the program up and announced its creation on my birthday in 2012. He was up for re-election and progressive activists were angry that Congress had not reformed immigration law so that children brought to this country illegally by their law-breaking parents would be able to stay without any restrictions or consequences. As predicted, DACA has faced legal challenge after legal challenge.
Barack Obama knew it when he signed it into effect. He said so at the time. He was just too obsessed with remaining in power and getting himself re-elected to resist the temptation to do as he wanted to do. Remember when people used to call Obama a constitutional scholar? Good times, good times. Time and time again he proved to us he was no such person. Nonetheless, there were Latino votes to court.
It seems like just the other day I was writing about a judicial ruling about DACA. It was. Less than two weeks ago, while Sleepy Joe Biden was blaming MAGA Republicans, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sent a lawsuit brought by Texas and eight other Republican-led states in May 2018 back to the U.S. District Court – Southern District of Texas. The panel’s judgment was that the case would likely succeed on the merits and the district court was in the best position to make a ruling. Yeah, it gets a little complicated with all the ping-ponging around that these cases do from one court to another but in this case, rest assured that it will eventually go to the Supreme Court. It will be the third time the Court will have heard a DACA case.
So, the case went back to U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen who sent it to the Fifth Circuit Court. Judge Hanen, who originally ruled DACA illegal, ruled on Friday that the program stays in place but no new applicants may apply. Those already in the program may renew their applications. Hanen ordered attorneys for the government to provide more information on the new regulations put forth by the Biden administration in order to keep the program alive. He wants additional legal arguments related to those but he didn’t set a timetable for future hearings. It is also unclear when his final decision may come. But when it does, as I said, it is fully expected that it will end up at the Supreme Court.
Immigrant activists (who conflate legal and illegal immigration) have thoughts.
“The legality of the new DACA regulation … is now the task before this court,” said Nina Perales, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, who is representing DACA recipients, said after attending Friday’s hearing.
Karina Ruiz De Diaz, one of the DACA recipients being represented by MALDEF, said she was relieved Hanen kept the program in place but upset the judge declined to open it up to thousands of new applicants who need its protections.
Ruiz was part of a group of more than 50 community activists and DACA recipients who gathered before and after the hearing in support of the program at a park next to the federal courthouse. They held up signs that said, “Judge Hanen Do the Right Thing Protect DACA” and “Immigrants Are Welcomed.”
“It was important to show up to the hearing. We don’t want the judge to think that this is just an abstract concept. I want him to see our faces, to see that it’s impacting real people,” said Ruiz, 38, who traveled from her home in Phoenix to attend the hearing.
This presumes that the judge rules on feelings instead of what the actual law is and isn’t. Democrats are all about feelings and not facts. Immigration law reforms may need to be made but only Congress can do that. If Joe Biden wants blanket amnesty for Dreamers, he’s going to have to get that initiative passed through Congress.
The current version of DACA is set to take effect on October 31.