NY immigration group urges Biden to take swift action on DACA

CMC – An umbrella immigration advocacy group in New York has called on President Joseph Biden to immediately take action after a US federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled as unlawful, a programme that has protected hundreds of thousands of undocumented young Caribbean adults and others from deportation.

Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the United States District Court in Houston, Texas, said that former US President Barack Obama superseded his authority when he created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known by the acronym DACA, by executive order in 2012.

In his ruling, Republican-leaning Judge Hanen blocked the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from approving any new DACA applications.

He, however, said his order will not impact current DACA recipients or their ability to renew their DACA applications.

Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), which boasts of more than 200 immigration groups in New York State, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that President Biden must intervene immediately to stop the disastrous implementation of the judge’s ruling.

Awawdeh said Judge Hanen has “quickly developed a reputation for anti-immigrant rulings and injunctions”.

“Today’s ruling is a chilling reminder that the Republicans’ far-right anti-immigrant agenda continues to outlive Donald Trump with devastating consequences for our communities,” he said. “Rescinding DACA would be a disaster for America’s health, economy and legacy.”

Awawdeh warned, “Nearly 50,000 New Yorkers and their families are now at risk of being ripped from the only home they’ve ever known. Judge Hanen’s ruling makes it crystal clear that Washington can’t keep playing politics with the lives of these New Yorkers and the hundreds of thousands like them across the country.”

“US Senate Majority Leader (Charles) Schumer, (House of Representatives) Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi, and President Biden must use the budget reconciliation process to finally pass permanent protections for not just these young people but also TPS (Temporary Protected Status) recipients and essential workers,” he urged. “We can’t wait any longer.”

In his 77-page ruling, Judge Hanen said that the US Congress had reserved the broad authority to regulate immigration, and that it had failed to give legal status to groups like the DACA recipients, otherwise known as Dreamers.

“The executive branch cannot just enact its own legislative policy when it disagrees with Congress’s choice to reject proposed legislation,” he wrote. “Congress has not given DHS the power to enact DACA.”

Friday’s ruling comes a little more than a year after the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled against then President Donald J. Trump’s attempt to end the DACA programme, characterising it as “arbitrary and capricious”.

But the Supreme Court failed to rule on whether DACA was legally adopted.

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