A federal judge has said that seven states pushing for the end of the DACA program failed to demonstrate that permitting it to continue was causing irreparable harm, and refused to put an end to the program which protects young immigrants from being deported.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen argued in his ruling that the states waited too long to seek a preliminary injunction.
“Here, the egg has been scrambled. 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,” he wrote.
However, Hanen also noted in his ruling that he believes the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is unconstitutional and that “if the nation truly wants to have a DACA program, it is up to Congress to say so.”
Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley welcomed the judge’s comments, saying he was pleased Hanen agrees “DACA is an unlawful attempt to circumvent Congress,” a stance the department has held for a long time.
Last week, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton expressed confidence that the courts would eventually rule that DACA is unconstitutional, adding that an injunction was denied only because the states took too long to request it.
Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia had filed a lawsuit, arguing that President Trump’s predecessor Barrack Obama didn’t have the authority to create a program like DACA because it circumvented Congress.
In filing their lawsuit, the states hoped to stop DACA recipients from continuing to renew their enrollment. Former President Obama created the program through executive action in 2012, allowing some people who came to the U.S. illegally as children to be protected from immediate deportation.