President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the Department of Justice intends to fight a Texas federal judge’s decision to declare the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme unconstitutional.
Biden released a statement proclaiming that his administration will strive to strengthen the programme, also known as DACA, which allows some immigrants to escape deportation and get renewable work permits for a limited time.
He urged Congress to enact legislation that would offer beneficiaries, known as Dreamers, with a route to citizenship.
“Yesterday’s federal court ruling is deeply disappointing. 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,” he said.
Biden added that the Department of Homeland Security will issue a proposed rule concerning DACA in the near future.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the agency “remains focused on safeguarding DACA” and will engage the public in a rulemaking process “to preserve and fortify” the program in addition to continuing to process requests for renewal.
“The Biden-Harris administration — and this country — remain as committed as ever to ensuring that Dreamers are protected from the threat of deportation and are allowed to continue to contribute to this country that is their home,” said Mayorkas.
In a 2018 lawsuit against the federal government, Judge Andrew Hanen ruled in favour of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and eight other states on Friday. They contended that the states would suffer irreparable injury as a result of the additional expenditures associated with providing DACA participants with health care, education, and law enforcement protection.
According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are more than 600,000 DACA recipients worldwide, including 101,970 in Texas, which has the second highest number of DACA beneficiaries in the US behind California.
Former President Barack Obama established the DACA programme in 2012 to allow immigrants who were brought to the nation illegally to be able to temporarily avoid deportation, work legally and pay taxes.
Obama in a tweet Saturday morning said it was “long past time” for Congress to pass legislation for Dreamers to “give them the protection and certainty they deserve.”
“For more than nine years, Dreamers have watched courts and politicians debate whether they’ll be allowed to stay in the only country many of them have ever known,” Obama wrote.
Biden, who served as Obama’s vice president, repeated the demand in his statement, urging Congress to enact the American Dream and Promise Act, which would give Dreamers with a route to permanent resident status, “with the greatest urgency.”
“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,” Biden stated.