United States District Court Judge Andrew Hanen on Friday ruled that the Department of Homeland Security could no longer approve new DACA applicants, but could continue to process DACA renewals as the matter continued to shift. in court.
The move was the latest blow to the program, which granted work permits and deportation protection to more than 600,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. For months, DACA recipients, immigrant advocates and lawyers have been bracing for Hanen to speak out against the program, urging Congress to act quickly with immigration reform.
The court ruling, the senior official said, “only made the matter more important.”
Democrats plan to include immigration measures – such as a citizenship pathway for dreamers, beneficiaries of temporary protection status, and essential workers, like farm laborers – in the next bill. in spending of $ 3.5 trillion. With bipartisan talks on Capitol Hill stalled, the reconciliation package may be the only opportunity Biden has to secure a path to citizenship without GOP support. However, it is unclear whether the measures will survive Senate budgetary rules that would allow it to be part of the final package.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department plans to appeal the Texas federal judge’s ruling, and the Department of Homeland Security will release a proposed rule designed to protect DACA “in the near future,” Biden said in a statement. declaration Saturday. He added, however, that only “Congress can guarantee a permanent solution” by offering dreamers a path to citizenship.
“They are exploring all kinds of options,” the official said. “But, to be very clear, they know that the way to achieve certainty is their shared belief that Congress must create a legal path to citizenship.”
Last month, Harris met a group of immigrant women, including beneficiaries of DACA and temporary protection status and green card holders, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of the creation of the DACA program. In May, Biden meet with a group of six DACA recipients to highlight immigration reform as one of his administration’s top priorities.