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Biden promises to appeal immigration ruling, urges Congress to act

Sports & GeneralJul 17, 2021 06:35PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the administration's continued drawdown efforts in Afghanistan in a speech from the East Room at the White House in Washington U.S., July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden on Saturday vowed to preserve a program that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States as children, promising to appeal a judge's "deeply disappointing" ruling invalidating it and urging Congress to provide them a path to citizenship.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen on Friday ruled in favor of a group of states led by Republican-governed Texas that sued to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Hanen concluded that Democratic former President Barack Obama exceeded his powers when he created DACA in 2012 by executive action, bypassing Congress.

People protected under DACA are often called "Dreamers," based on the name of a proposed immigration overhaul that failed to pass Congress.

Biden said in a statement https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/07/17/statement-by-president-joe-biden-on-daca-and-legislation-for-dreamers that the Justice Department will appeal Hanen's ruling. The Democratic president also said the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration issues, will soon issue a new regulation intended to strengthen DACA's legal standing.

Hanen, a Texas-based judge appointed by Republican former President George W. Bush, found that DACA https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-judge-blocks-new-applications-daca-program-dreamer-immigrants-2021-07-16 violated a federal law called the Administrative Procedure Act when it was created. Hanen said that because large numbers of people are enrolled in the program - nearly 650,000 - his ruling would be put on hold temporarily, but suspended new DACA applications.

"Yesterday's federal court ruling is deeply disappointing," Biden said. "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."

"But only Congress can ensure a permanent solution by granting a path to citizenship for Dreamers that will provide the certainty and stability that these young people need and deserve," added Biden, who was vice president when Obama created DACA.

The road to congressional action is complicated. Democrats control the Senate and House of Representatives by slim margins. The 100-seat Senate, which under a rule called the filibuster requires 60 votes to advance most legislation, is split 50-50, with Democrats in charge only because Vice President Kamala Harris wields a tie-breaking vote.

Democrats are expected to include a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers in a $3.5 trillion spending package that could pass the Senate by a simple majority under a procedure called reconciliation.

"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 added.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Hanen's ruling would not derail the Biden administration's efforts to protect Dreamers from deportation. "DHS remains focused on safeguarding DACA," Mayorkas said in a statement, adding that his department will continue to process DACA renewal requests "consistent with the ruling."

Obama created DACA to protect young immigrants who had lived in the United States illegally after being brought into the country as children. He acted after bipartisan immigration legislation called the DREAM Act failed to pass Congress.

DACA protects recipients from deportation, grants them work authorization and access to driver's licenses, and in some cases better access to financial aid for education. It does not provide a path to citizenship. People protected under DACA primarily are young Hispanic adults born in Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Republican former President Donald Trump, who took a hard line toward immigration, sought to rescind DACA in 2017, but the U.S. Supreme Court last year blocked his move https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-immigration/u-s-supreme-court-thwarts-trump-plan-to-end-dreamers-immigrant-program-idUSKBN23P2HM as unlawfully "arbitrary and capricious."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans an early test for the reconciliation approach on Wednesday, trying to gather united Democratic support.

"We can't let the future of #DACA recipients hang in the balance. The time to act is now. This Senate will work to provide a pathway to citizenship for our Dreamers," Schumer wrote on Twitter on Friday.

Some liberal lawmakers and activists have called for eliminating the filibuster, which Senate Republicans have used to block Democratic priorities.

Republican opponents of DACA praised the judge's ruling.

Andy Biggs, a conservative congressman and Trump ally from the border state of Arizona, described Hanen's ruling on Twitter as a "huge win!"

Biden promises to appeal immigration ruling, urges Congress to act
 

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Comments (8)
Honey Badger
Honey Badger Jul 17, 2021 5:49PM ET
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Interference in other countries by big countries is the rootcuase. That need to be stop otherwise people will be running for theirs lives.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Jul 17, 2021 5:35PM ET
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Obama passed DACA with executive action bypassing Congres, now Biden will do same with reconciliation forcing this illegal legislation. Democrats abuse the system they want illegals for votes.
Bonney Lake
Bonney Lake Jul 17, 2021 5:35PM ET
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renegade much?
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Jul 17, 2021 2:57PM ET
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Man! Biden is quick when it comes to something like this!  Quick to shut down pipelines, quick to stop the wall, quick to allow illegals in.  Just slow at everything else
Anthony Badalamenti
Anthony Badalamenti Jul 17, 2021 2:57PM ET
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Correct. Criminal in a criminal party.
Mark Jannetty
Mark Jannetty Jul 17, 2021 2:08PM ET
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I think we should just send everyone back that breaks a law. make sense? of course its illegal to cross the border👍
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Jul 17, 2021 1:45PM ET
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Just take the wall down and all the problems with immigrants will be solved. They will just come pouring in. No  problem
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Jul 17, 2021 1:41PM ET
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USA vs USA. Still fighting to put together a common sensed social framework based on common sensed policy. How many decades of GOP mismanagement? All of the GOP's management was geared to favor the ones who can take care of themselves rather than to build a solid infrastructure (EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, WELFARE) which should be the first cause of government. The results of GOP's mismanagement can be seen in low education of the masses, low health care status, low welfare status, high incidence of errors and omissions in USA trained operators, more mental cases free running, all made worse by free access to firearms. All the foregoing is the main reason I won't risk my life traveling there and won't spend my money in the USA. -- Keep the borders closed and keep the mindless Americans out of their neighboring countries.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Jul 17, 2021 1:41PM ET
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Alrighty then.  Get some help
New Jazenevd
New Jazenevd Jul 17, 2021 1:36PM ET
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Burisma Joe on habitual drive: selling America down the river.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jul 17, 2021 11:24AM ET
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Deca Benefits Dems n mexico the most. Majority babbies r born by minorities (mostly hispanic).
 
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