Judge orders U.S. to close DACA program to new applicants, calling it illegal

Martin Batalia Vidal

FILE – In this Nov. 12, 2019, file photo people rally outside the Supreme Court over President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), at the Supreme Court in Washington. A Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020 federal court hearing in Houston over a U.S. program shielding immigrants brought to the country illegally as children highlights the peril the program still faces even under an incoming Democratic president who has pledged to protect it. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

(WVNS) — A federal judge in Texas ordered the U.S. government on Friday to close the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to new applicants, saying the Obama administration did not have the legal authority to grant deportation relief and work permits to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. 

Granting a request by Texas and other Republican-led states, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen required the Biden administration to stop approving new applications for DACA, blocking tens of thousands of immigrant teenagers and young adults from accessing the Obama-era legal protections.

Hanen did not order the government to strip the work permits and deportation protections from the more than 616,000 immigrants who are already enrolled in DACA.

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