A federal judge blocked Joe Biden and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), issuing an injunction last week ordering the administration to cease accepting applications, but it won’t matter in the end.
DACA was established in 2012 when Barack Obama issued an executive order to cease deporting illegal immigrants who allegedly entered the country as minors by deferring deporting them for two years. Deferrals could be renewed and work permits could be obtained. At the time, DACA recipients were denied a pathway to citizenship.
Republicans promised to work with Trump during his presidency to “rescind” DACA, but just like abortion, government spending, and pretty much every other conservative priority, they used the issue to raise money and steal votes with no intention of rescinding it because they fully support and want to save it.
Joe Biden issued a memo after taking office to protect DACA, and he ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take “all appropriate actions under the law” to preserve the program and calling on Congress to give a path to citizenship for recipients.
This action led to a lawsuit filed by Texas and a coalition of states against the administration on the grounds that DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the Constitution. Federal Judge Andrew Hanen agreed and blocked DACA enforcement (via FOX News):
Judge Andrew Hanen, a Texas judge, found that the Department of Homeland Security violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in creating the policy. He found that the policy was implemented unlawfully and ordered DHS to stop approving DACA applications, although he said it could continue to accept applications and that it does not affect the status of any current DACA recipients.
The judge found that the agency’s interpretation of statutes was “overly broad” and those laws did not carry the authority for the federal government to institute the program.
“DACA would grant lawful presence and work authorization to over a million people for whom Congress had made no provision and has consistently refused to make such a provision,” Hanen wrote.
Biden has promised to appeal the ruling to block DACA, calling Hanen’s decision “deeply disappointing.” He also made the point that “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.”
However, like Obama before him, Biden isn’t interested in waiting on Congress. He also declared that “the Department of Justice intends to appeal this decision in order to preserve and fortify DACA.”
As far as Congress’ role in this fiasco is concerned, Democrats control the agenda at the moment, which means that Biden and crew might be well on their way to seeing DACA saved.
Back in March, the Dream and Promise Act (DPA) passed the House 228-197, a bill that gives DREAMers and DACA participants what they’ve always wanted: amnesty and a pathway to citizenship.
Biden supports DPA, even though it “only” naturalizes approximately 4.5 million illegals — far short of the 11 million illegals he mentioned in a proposal prior to the bill passing. “There certainly is part of the proposal that the president outlined and proposed on Day One that is an earned pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at the time.
DPA is receiving some faux outrage from Republicans because #DemocratsAreEvil, but as I mentioned above, these same Republicans have been fighting to save DACA and amnesty for DREAMers for years. “Biden has lost control of the U.S.-Mexico border,” Lindsey Graham said after reviewing the bill. “Until he regains control, by implementing policies that work, it will be hard to do the DREAMers or anything else.”
For the record: Graham was a founding member of the Obama-era Gang of Eight, a group of milquetoast Republicans working with far-left Democrats to create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Though it faded away in the early years of the Trump presidency, Graham revived it after Republicans lost the House in the 2018 midterms, only now it was a Gang of Twenty.
One notable member of the new gang was Jared Kushner. It was Kushner and Graham who offered Democrats a deal to save DACA in exchange for border wall funding . . . WITHOUT CONDITIONS!
For those of you thinking the courts will bring an end to DACA, let me remind you of a Supreme Court ruling made a year ago.
As Republicans are prone to do, they passed the buck on rescinding DACA to the judiciary instead of passing legislation that would have become law when Trump and Republicans controlled Washington from 2016-2018 — that is, if they really wanted it rescinded — and in June 2020, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against ending DACA.
Believe it or not, SCOTUS ruled as it did because — are you ready for it? — Trump allegedly violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which sets out rulemaking procedures for federal agencies.
That’s right. The Supreme Court ruled to protect DACA for the same reason the Texas federal judge recently ruled to block it.
Trump and the Republican Party never intended to rescind DACA because they’ve always favored creating amnesty and a pathway to citizenship for millions of DREAMers and other illegals. And they don’t object to Biden and the Democrats on DACA because it’s a bad deal; they object because at the moment it’s a Democrat deal. Republicans want exactly what the Democrats want; they just want a big “R” at the end of it.
Where all of this is leading is a forgone conclusion: DACA — whether through Biden or Congress or the judiciary — will officially or unofficially remain the law of the land in the end.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.