By Molly Prince
A federal judge in Texas announced Friday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program can continue to accept applications and operate as written despite its likely violating federal law.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen rejected the request by seven states to issue an injunction and promptly discontinue the DACA program. Hanen asserted that while he understands the program is presumably unlawful and will ultimately be struck down if challenged in his own court, he kept DACA in place as the appeal continues, reported CNN.
“Here, the egg has been scrambled,” Hanen wrote. “To try to put it back in the shell with only a preliminary injunction record, and perhaps at great risk to many, does not make sense nor serve the best interest of this country.”
The states – Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia – filed the lawsuit arguing that DACA could be established only by the legislative branch. Since President Barack Obama circumvented Congress in creating the program, it is unconstitutional, according to The Washington Post.
Hanen reiterated his belief in the unlawfulness of DACA as enacted by former President Barack Obama but emphasized the necessity of the program itself.
“DACA is a popular program and one that Congress should consider saving,” Hanen continued. “This court will not succumb to the temptation to set aside legal principles and to substitute its judgment in lieu of legislative action. If the nation truly wants to have a DACA program, it is up to Congress to say so.”
While the ruling was a loss for the states, Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas proclaimed that it was a step in the right direction.
“We’re not very confident that DACA will soon meet the same fate as the Obama-era Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, which the courts blocked after I led another state coalition challenging its constitutionality,” Paxton said, according to CNN. “Our lawsuit is vital to restoring the rule of law to our nation’s immigration system.”
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