President Joe Biden lashed out at a federal appeals court on Wednesday after it ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was illegally implemented by the Obama administration.
In a statement, the president called the decision “unlawful” and called on Congress to make permanent legislative protections to help more than 600,000 immigrants currently protected by DACA.
On Wednesday, the 5th US Circuit Court’s three-judge panel ruled that the Obama administration lacked authority to initiate the DACA program. However, the court stopped short of dismantling it legally, saying DACA migrants could continue to receive legal protections.
“I am disappointed by today’s Fifth Circuit decision finding DACA illegal. The court’s stay provides a temporary reprieve for DACA recipients, but one thing remains clear: Dreamers’ lives remain in limbo,” Biden said.
FEDERAL APPEALS COURT RULES OBAMA-ERA DACA PROGRAM ILLEGAL, BUT SAYS 600,000 ALREADY IN US CAN STAY
“Today’s decision is the result of continued efforts by Republican state officials to strip DACA recipients of the protections and work authorization that many have now enjoyed for over a decade,” the president added.
“And while we will use the tools we have to allow Dreamers to live and work in the only country they know as home,” Biden continued, “it is long past time for Congress to enact permanent protections for Dreamers, including a path to citizenship.”
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The circuit court also ruled that the US government could not process new applicants for DACA and ordered a federal judge in Texas to review the program.
“A district court is in the best position to review the administrative record in the rulemaking proceeding and determine whether our holdings regarding the 2012 DACA memorandum fully resolve issues regarding the final rule,” the court wrote.
Biden specifically blamed “MAGA Republican officials” for the court’s decision, as several Republican-led states sued the federal government over the DACA program. Governors argue that the program has a negative impact on their local economies as they have to foot the bill for DACA recipients’ education and health care.
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“My administration is committed to defending Dreamers against attacks by Republican officials in Texas and other states,” Biden concluded. “This challenge to DACA is just another example of the extreme agenda being pushed by MAGA Republican officials.”
The rule comes into force on 31 October.
Fox News’ Adam Sabes, David Spunt and Allie Simon and The Associated Press contributed to this report.