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4 cover story July 23, 2021 www.desitalk.com – that’s all you need to know Calling DACA ‘Unlawful,’ Judge Halts Applications DACA In Limbo ... Again Biden Calls Judge’s Decision To Halt DACA Program ‘Deeply Disappointing,’ Says DOJ Will Appeal Ruling -WASHINGTON A federal judge in Texas has largely halted an Obama administration initiative that grants work permits and reprieves from deportation to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children – calling the program “unlawful” even as he allowed the more than 600,000 young people already in it to keep their protected status. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen sided with Texas and other states in his ruling that President Barack Obama, a Democrat, overstepped his executive authority when he created the program. Hanen’s ruling called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an “il- legally implemented program” and said “the public interest of the nation is always served by the cessation of a program that was created in violation of law.” He prohibited the Department of Homeland Security from approving new applications, issued a permanent injunc- tion vacating the memo that created DACA in 2012 – when President Joe Biden was vice president – and remanded the issue to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for reconsideration. The Biden administration had no im- mediate response to Friday’s ruling. But the long-awaited knockdown spurred a political outcry and intensified pressure on theWhite House and Congress to pass an immigration measure this year. Immigrants brought to this country as children, known as “dreamers,” are among the most sympathetic of the 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally. Still, Republican and Democratic lawmak- ers have been unable to agree on whether to grant them legal status despite months of negotiations. Democrats are considering whether to use a budget reconciliation measure to take that action, a move that would require only a simple majority vote in the evenly divided Senate. In statements Friday, July 16, 2021, both Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., vowed to press forward on legis- lation that would ensure dreamers have a pathway to citizenship. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Durbin, D- Ill., who has sponsored legislation for the past 20 years to grant dreamers citizen- ship – without success – said Congress had “found excuses to put off this decision” for too many years.”Congress will now act quickly – with or without the party of Donald Trump – to allow these Americans to finally become citizens,” Durbin said Friday. Congressional Democrats and advo- cates for immigrants called Friday for the government to appeal Hanen’s ruling, which Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., described as “cruel.” “To current #DACA recipients, you are safe here,” she said on Twitter. “To our young immigrants, we will not stop our work until every Dreamer is treated as they are: American.” But Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, called on Democrats to vote on a proposal he and Sen. ThomTillis, R-N.C., floated earlier this month to Durbin, who has sponsored legislation for the past 20 years to grant dreamers citizenship – without success. Cornyn and Tillis said they propose “targeted legislation” that would offer permanent legal status to “active partici- pants” in DACA, and opined that anything broader is not “politically viable.” “Now will Senator Durbin schedule debate and vote on a bill that will provide DACA recipients some certainty?” Cornyn said in a tweet after the ruling. Google, which employs DACA recipi- ents and is one of many companies that have defended their right to stay in the United States, condemned the ruling, say- ing “we are very disappointed by today’s decision.” To qualify for DACA, immigrants must have been under age 31 as of June 15, 2012, when the program was created, arrived in this country before turning 16, and resided in the United States since P resident Joe Biden on Saturday said it was “deeply disappointing” that a federal judge had decided to halt much of an Obama administration initiative that protected undocumented “dreamers” who arrived in the United States as children, and said the Justice Department planned to appeal the ruling. The judge’s decision also prompted Biden and other Democrats to redoubled their pleas to Congress to pass legislation – even if it required a budget reconciliation process – that would provide a path to citizenship to dreamers. “Only Congress can ensure a perma- nent solution by granting a path to citi- zenship for Dreamers that will provide the certainty and stability that these young people need and deserve,” Biden said in a statement. “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.” U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen on Friday sided with Texas and other states in his ruling that President Barack Obama overstepped his executive authority when he created the Deferred Action for Child- hood Arrivals program, or DACA, calling it an “illegally implemented program.” The ruling by Hanen, a GeorgeW. Bush appointee, allows the more than 600,000 young people already in the program to keep their protected status, but prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from approving new applications. Hanen also issued a permanent injunction vacat- ing the memo that created DACA in 2012 – when Biden was vice president – and remanded the issue to the Department of Homeland Security for reconsideration. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejan- dro Mayorkas said Saturday that he too was “disappointed” by Hanen’s decision but that the department would continue processing DACA renewal requests, con- sistent with the ruling. “DHS remains focused on safeguard- ing DACA, and we will engage the public in a rulemaking process to preserve and fortify DACA,” Mayorkas said in a state- ment. Like Biden, Mayorkas also called on Congress to pass the American Dream and Promise Act through the reconciliation process “to provide permanent protec- tion that the American people want and Dreamers have earned.” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who brought the lawsuit against the Biden administration and has sought to block the administration on other immigration- related matters, cheered the decision Saturday. “I think it’s right to stop a president who just decided that he didn’t like federal law & came up with his own immigration laws,” Paxton tweeted. “We sued him, rightfully so, for violating federal law and we won.” Hanen’s decision triggered an uproar from dreamers and activists, who decried Friday’s ruling as yet another instance of their long-term security being upended by political tempests. On Saturday morn- ing, several DACA recipients and activists gathered in front of United Methodist Church inWashington to rally against the ruling and call on Congress to act. “We are demanding, without any lack of clarity, citizenship through the recon- ciliation process,” Greisa Martinez Rosas, executive director of the nonprofit United We Dream, said to cheers. She also fired off a warning shot to lawmakers, including Democrats, who released statements of sympathy and sup- port that were not followed up by legisla- tive action. “We cannot do anything with your well wishes and your tweets,” she declared. “We are demanding clear action in this moment.” Immigrants brought to this country as children, known as “dreamers,” are among the most sympathetic of the 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally. Still, Republican and Democratic lawmak- ers have been unable to agree on whether to grant them legal status despite months of negotiations. Democrats are considering whether By Maria Sacchetti By Amy BWang,Maria Sacchetti REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst Bloomberg photo byAl Drago DACA recipients and their supporters celebrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the court ruled in a 5-4 vote that U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2017 move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arriv- als (DACA) program, created in 2012 by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, was unlawful, in Washington, U.S. June 18, 2020. A demonstrator holds a “Home Is Here” sign during a rally supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Nov. 12, 2019. - Continued On Page 5 - Continued On Page 5

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