Judge backtracks, rules U.S. government does not have to accept new DACA requests

by WorldTribune Staff, August 20, 2018

In a reversal of a previous order, a U.S. district judge ruled the government does not have to accept new requests for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Illegal aliens who were brought into the U.S. as children, known as “Dreamers,” can renew their DACA applications, but no new requests will be processed, U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled, according to a report by The Associated Press.

Immigration Services had warned that restarting the DACA program would result in the agency processing some 50,000 new DACA applications. / AP

Bates had initially ordered U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to fully reinstate DACA by Aug. 23.

USCIS warned that restarting the DACA program would result in the agency processing some 50,000 new DACA applications instead of focusing on legal immigrant and guest worker applications, The Washington Times reported on Aug. 15.

Judge Bates also delayed a decision on providing special protections to DACA recipients. One of those protections is advance parole, where recipients can travel outside the U.S. and re-enter the country, which can sometimes lead to citizenship.

Government officials said more than 100,000 new DACA applications and 30,000 advance parole requests would occur if DACA were renewed, the Washington Times report said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said the White House will “aggressively defend” its judgment to dissolve the DACA program.

The Obama administration “violated its duty to enforce our immigration laws by directing and implementing a categorical, multi-pronged non-enforcement immigration policy for a massive group of illegal aliens,” Sessions said, adding that President Donald Trump is well within his right to rescind a policy that was established by an Obama-era executive order.

The ruling by Judge Bates comes as Texas awaits a decision on whether it can completely eliminate DACA. Texas and six other states support making DACA illegal.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, argued that the implementation of DACA was federal overreach and was a financial burden to states, the Dallas Morning News reported on Aug. 8. Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which represents DACA recipients in the case, argued that it was six years too late to make such an argument.

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