Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the U.S. District Court in Houston ruled against the Obama-created program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on Friday.
Federal Judge Hanen, a President George W. Bush appointee, declared that DACA was implemented unlawfully, claiming that Obama overreached his presidential powers and violated the Administrative Procedural Act (APA) – preventing the public from voicing their concerns on the issue, according to The Daily Wire.
“D.H.S. failed to engage in the statutorily mandated process,” Judge Hanen wrote in his decision. “So DACA never gained status as a legally binding policy that could impose duties or obligations.”
Putting a screeching halt to the program, Judge Hanen ruled that no new undocumented minors are allowed to apply for DACA.
The Hill reported Judge Hanen’s decision does not apply to the estimated 600,000 current recipients who will remain in the program and have the opportunity to renew their application. However, the fate of the program in its entirety will depend on additional rulings.
DACA, which ensures children illegally residing in the U.S. are protected from deportation, was implemented by then-President Obama through executive order in 2012 after many failed attempts in Congress to pass laws ensuring “DREAMers” were not deported.
Since DACA was implemented, critics have been calling for the end of the program, characterizing it as unconstitutional and an executive overreach.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., voiced his opinion on Twitter writing, “There is ZERO constitutional authority for a President to create a ‘road to citizenship’ by executive fiat. It was unconstitutional when Obama issued executive amnesty, and it would be a HUGE mistake if Trump tries to illegally expand amnesty.”
On the other hand, Trump also received praise from some GOP lawmakers about his pledge to support a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“This statement represents presidential leadership on immigration. I truly appreciate President Trump making it clear that he supports a path to citizenship for DACA recipients,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., wrote on Twitter.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also praised Trump on Twitter saying, “The President is headed in the right direction here.”