(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) A few minor tweaks and some revised language to Barack Obama’s 2012 executive fiat that sidestepped Congress to allow hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought into the country illegally to avoid deportation was ruled unlawful by a federal judge.
Democrats and leftists erupted in outrage at Wednesday’s ruling, even though it stopped short of immediately ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and will continue to afford so-called Dreamers their existing protections that shield children of illegal immigrants from deportation and allow retention of existing work authorizations.
As of March, there were upwards of 600,000 illegal aliens who remain in the country as Dreamers, according to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.
“Litigation revolving around the legality of DACA, in one form or another, has existed for nearly a decade,” U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen wrote in his ruling.
“While sympathetic to the predicament of DACA recipients and their families, this Court has expressed its concerns about the legality of the program for some time. The solution for these deficiencies lies with the legislature, not the executive or judicial branches,” Hanen wrote.
With the ruling, legal analysts have predicted DACA to eventually again land on the Supreme Court’s docket.
Hanen in 2021 declared DACA illegal, ruling that the program had never been subject to public notice as required by federal rules, but allowed the program the latitude he did in Wednesday’s ruling. The Biden administration tweaked some language in the original DACA decree and tossed in a public comment allowance, but Hanen ruled that it still suffered from its original flaw of circumventing Congress and that Biden’s attempt to codify it without proper authority was illegal.
“Congress’s alleged failure to pass, or, stated differently, its decision not to enact legislation, does not empower the Executive Branch to ‘legislate’ on its own — specially when that ‘legislation’ is contrary to actual existing legislation,” Hanen wrote in his ruling Wednesday. “The Executive Branch cannot usurp the power bestowed on Congress by the Constitution — even to fill a void.”
DACA has weaved a twisted route through the courts for nearly two decades, including rulings from both federal courts and SCOTUS that thwarted former President Donald Trump’s attempt to scuttle the program that sheltered illegals.
As part of Hanen’s previous court decision, the judge also ruled that states harmed by DACA could bring suit against the program because of financial damages. Nine states brought forwarded litigation, claiming they had been forced to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for costs associated with allowing the Dreamers to remain in the country illegally. The states that sued are Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kansas and Mississippi.
The states had also requested that the DACA program should be terminated over two years, but Hanen stopped short. His ruling bars the government from approving new Dreamers, but protects existing ones as litigation continues.
“The Court, as it did before, hereby stays the effective date of the vacatur as to all DACA recipients who received their initial DACA status prior to July 16, 2021,” Hanen wrote in his ruling Wednesday. “The defendants may continue to administer the program as to those individuals, and that administration may include processing and granting DACA renewal applications for those individuals.”
The judge’s ruling noted, “To be clear, neither this order nor the accompanying supplemental injunction requires the (Department of Homeland Security) or the Department of Justice to take any immigration, deportation, or criminal action against any DACA recipient, applicant, or any other individual that would otherwise not be taken.”
Hanen’s ruling was still excoriated by the Biden White House for not buying its bogus reshuffle of Obama’s original flawed usurpation of legislative authority.
“As we have long maintained, we disagree with the District Court’s conclusion that DACA is unlawful, and will continue to defend this critical policy from legal challenges,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “While we do so, consistent with the court’s order, DHS will continue to process renewals for current DACA recipients and DHS may continue to accept DACA applications.”
Mark Pellin is an editor at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/sabrepaw70.