A federal district judge on Friday denied the state of Texas’ request that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program be put on hold after Texas and nine other states sued to halt the Obama-era program.
DACA was launched in 2012 and grants recipients a renewable, two-year work permit and a reprieve from deportation proceedings for immigrants who were brought to the United States while they were children. Federal District Judge Andrew Hanen said the states could likely prove that DACA causes the states irreparable harm. But Hannen wrote that the states delayed in seeking the relief for years. He added that there was an abundance of evidence to show that ending the program “was in contrary to the best interests of the pubic.”
His decision means that hundreds of thousands of the program’s recipients can continue applying to renew their status — for now.
In a statement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton nonetheless cheered Hannen’s decision, saying the judge’s statement about irreparable harm was an indication that Texas would ultimately win the case.
“We’re now very confident that DACA will soon meet the same fate as the Obama-era Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, which the courts blocked after I led another state coalition challenging its constitutionality,” Attorney General Paxton said. “President Obama used DACA to rewrite federal law without congressional approval.”
Hanen heard arguments on whether to preliminarily halt the program more than three weeks ago. That came nearly a year after President Donald Trump promised to end DACA in September by phasing it out over six months.
But three different courts have since ruled that the administration must keep the program intact for now. As of last September there were about 120,000 DACA beneficiaries in Texas and more than 800,000 nationwide.
This developing story will be updated.