A federal judge in Texas has again ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as youngsters, is illegal.
Judge Andrew Hanen, of the Southern District of Texas, ruled that DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which sets out how agencies make regulations.
The ruling does not impact anyone currently protected under DACA, but the judge banned the government from approving anyone else for it.
“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,” Judge Hanen wrote.
Texas and eight other states had sued to end the Obama-era DACA program and the ruling is now expected to be appealed to the US Supreme Court for a third time.
The states argued that the Obama administration circumvented Congress and did not have the authority to create DACA in 2012.
They claimed that DACA costs them hundreds of millions of
The states, which are Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kansas and Mississippi, have claimed DACA costs them hundreds of millions of dollars in health care and other expenses.
DACA, which allows Dreamers to live and work in the US, was defended in the case by the federal government, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the state of New Jersey. They argued the states had shown no evidence the alleged costs were caused by Dreamers.
Immigration officials say that there were 578,680 people enrolled in DACA at the end of March.
The judge previously ruled DACA illegal in 2021, stating that it had not been subject to public notice and comment periods required under the federal Administrative Procedures Act.
In 2016, the Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 over an expanded DACA and a version of the program for parents of DACA recipients.
In 2020, the court ruled 5-4 that the Trump administration improperly ended DACA, allowing it to stay in place.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.