Former President Barack Obama's controversial DACA migrant policy has been struck down in court by a federal judge, but it will likely be ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen has previously ruled against the program, but a technicality meant that he had to consider the order again.
“While sympathetic to the predicament of DACA recipients and their families, this Court has expressed its concerns about the legality of the program for some time,” wrote Hanen.
“The solution for these deficiencies lies with the legislature, not the executive or judicial branches," he added. "Congress, for any number of reasons, has decided not to pass DACA-like legislation.”
Critics of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program say that Obama was acting outside of the powers of the executive branch and should have sought a vote from Congress to pass a law establishing amnesty. The policy was implemented by a memo issued in 2012 and allows for some migrants who can prove they were brought into the country as children to seek a quasi-legal status and obtain work permits.
Hanen's order restricted the government from granting the amnesty privilege to any more applicants but allowed the program to continue for those who have already been approved. There are an estimated 578,000 people who have obtained the DACA amnesty.
A group of states sued to stop the program and argued that they had incurred millions of dollars in costs related to providing services for the amnesty recipients.
Democrats have tried to pass legislation in order to permanently establish the amnesty program, but their efforts have been blocked by Republicans.
Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state issued a statement against the ruling.
"Unfortunately, this decision is no surprise from Judge Hanen. This is completely unacceptable. Dreamers deserve better and the fight is not over," wrote Jayapal.
The fate of the amnesty program is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Here's more about the argument over DACA:
Revised DACA program to be debated before Texas judge who previously ruled against itwww.youtube.com
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