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DACA has hit another roadblock.


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Federal Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas ruled Friday that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program enacted by former President Barack Obama that protects some undocumented immigrants from being deported, is illegal. As part of his ruling, Hanen also blocked new program applicants. 

The judge’s ruling would prevent future applicants but wouldn’t immediately impact current permits for hundreds of thousands of people, CNN reported. DACA was created in 2012 to allow undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children a chance to work and study without fear of deportation.

Hanen said Congress didn’t give the Department of Homeland Security the right to create DACA, and that it blocked immigration officials from being able to enforce removal provisions through the Immigration and Nationality Act. Congress is the only entity that can pass legislation offering a permanent solution for DACA recipients, CNN notes, but immigration legislation has lagged for years. 

The White House and the Department of Homeland Security didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Trump administration attempted to end DACA in 2017, drawing criticism from tech CEOSs including Apple’s Tim Cook, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. The executives, along with more than 300 others, signed a letter to the then-president expressing concern about the move. The Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s efforts in 2020.