The 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, has come out over the weekend to protest a federal judge’s ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Better known as DACA, Biden and the Justice Department intend to appeal the ruling, which has deemed it illegal. The Obama-era created program has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation and Biden, himself, renewed calls for Congress to create a permanent solution.
In a statement released by the White House, Biden said that last Friday’s decision was “deeply disappointing,” and although the judge’s order did not affect those already covered by DACA, it “relegates hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to an uncertain future.” For those unaware, the program has allowed thousands of young people who were brought illegally into the United States as children, or overstayed visas, to live, work and remain in the country.
Known as “Dreamers,” most of the recipients have now been in the U.S. for a decade or longer.
Texas, which already seeks to create issues with voting rights, and eight other states sued to halt DACA, arguing that President Barack Obama lacked the power to create the program because it circumvented Congress. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Houston agreed, and while his ruling left the program intact for existing recipients, it barred the government from approving any new applications.
“Only Congress can ensure a permanent solution by granting a path to citizenship for Dreamers that will provide the certainty and stability that these young people need and deserve,” President Biden said in his statement. “I have repeatedly called on Congress to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, and I now renew that call with the greatest urgency. It is my fervent hope that through reconciliation or other means, Congress will finally provide security to all Dreamers, who have lived too long in fear.”
Legislation was approved by the House in March, which created a pathway toward citizenship for those impacted, but the measure has stalled in the Senate. Immigration advocates hope to include a provision in sweeping budget legislation Democrats want to pass this year, but it is still not yet a secure path whether that language will be included.