DACA: An eternal sway
A federal judge in Texas decided that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is "probably illegal," but won’t allow it to be suspended.
In the Trump Era, any relief for immigrants is under threat, and it is exactly this instability that is the most effective weapon in an increasingly evident anti-Latino agenda.
One of the most reliable examples of this is the ongoing legal battle for the survival of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
After President Donald Trump announced the suspension of the program at the beginning of his term, Congress has stalled when it comes to finding a solution for the more than 800,000 young people who depend on this protection to continue leading their lives in the country they call home.
At the insistence of strongly Republican states - and led by Texas - the government has tried in all ways to suspend the program, but several decisions of minor courts have allowed it to remain standing.
The final decision was in the hands of Judge Andrew Hanen who last week ruled that while "the program is probably illegal" he would not order that it be immediately suspended.
According to Vox, Hanen "decided that the group of red states suing the Trump Administration to end DACA waited too long to challenge the legality of the program."
"The States could have brought a lawsuit against the entire program in 2012 or anytime thereafter," the judge said, but the fact of having allowed DACA to run its course for six years would nullify the argument that its continuity "would cause irreparable harm.”
"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 interests of this country."
According to the New York Times analysis, his decision was "unexpected."
"In his ruling in 2015 about the program for parents, (Hanen) made it clear that he thought both efforts to protect undocumented immigrants were illegal," the Times wrote. Both activists and immigrants expected a similar decision in the case of the collective lawsuit against the program.
However, in his decision last Friday, the judge made it clear that he "thought that the DACA program will be declared illegal in the long run," but that it is a "popular program that Congress should consider saving."
This decision only deepens the limbo in which the thousands of young immigrants who had protection against deportation and a work permit find themselves, as well as those who tried to apply for the first time to the status.
Finally, and as Vox concludes, DACA is still standing, and the chances of it being eliminated in the coming months are lower, but the final decision could be in the hands of the Supreme Court, which will probably soon have five conservative members who can sentence in favor of the president's demands.