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Texas Judge Suspends DACA Applications but White House Appeals

Plus: More than 1.1 million immigrants were apprehended at the border so far this fiscal year, marking a new record

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U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen of Houston ruled last week that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects hundreds of thousands young undocumented immigrants from deportation, is unlawful and suspended new applications. Hanen wrote that current recipients wouldn’t be affected and that the federal government shouldn’t “take any immigration, deportation or criminal action” against them that it “would not otherwise take.” The Department of Homeland Security can receive new applications but is briefly prohibited from approving them. Hanen ruled that the creation of DACA was a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. “DHS failed to engage in the statutorily mandated process,” he wrote, “so DACA never gained status as a legally binding policy that could impose duties or obligations.” The New York Times 

The following day, President Joe Biden said the U.S. Department of Justice is expected to appeal the new court decision. “Yesterday’s federal court ruling is deeply disappointing,” Biden said in a statement. “While the court’s order does not now affect current DACA recipients, this decision nonetheless relegates hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to an uncertain future.” Biden has long pushed for DACA to become a permanent program. The U.S. House green-lit legislation in March to create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, but the measure dwindled in the Senate. The statement continued, “The Department of Justice intends to appeal this decision in order to preserve and fortify DACA. And, as the court recognized, the Department of Homeland Security plans to issue a proposed rule concerning DACA in the near future.” The Guardian 

In other federal immigration news…

Over 1.1 Million Apprehensions at Southern Border This Year

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has logged more than 1.1 million apprehensions by federal officials at the U.S.-Mexico border this fiscal year. Officials said many of those who were taken into custody have tried to cross the border more than once. The last time apprehensions reached 1 million was in 2006, but there were a lot fewer crossings during the summer months. In June 2006, about 68,000 migrants were taken into custody. Meanwhile in June 2021, there were 188,829 apprehensions, a 5% increase from May. CBP said this year’s numbers “somewhat overstate” the true crossings because so many individuals were quickly expelled into Mexico under a public health rule. The Washington Post

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