WORCESTER – When 22-year-old “dreamer” Ian of Worcester heard the news that a federal judge in Texas last Friday crushed the Obama-era DACA program and declared it “illegal”, he was shocked and discouraged.
“It lacks humanity and makes hundreds of thousands of new potential (DACA) adapters, receivers (unable to) apply, all because of a man’s signature,” said Ian.
Ian immigrated to the United States from Kenya when he was 3 years old, along with nearly 800,000 young people brought to the United States as children, all of whom are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that gives them legal status to stay in the country.
“We want to work here. We want to add value to the country. We want to live by the American dream. But it’s sad because America was built on an immigrant land, but now they refuse to let these immigrants in.” great in this so-called great country, “said Ian, a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, who refused to reveal his last name.
Judge in Texas: Obama Administration Failed to Follow Federal Administrative Instructions to Introduce DACA
U.S. District Court Justice Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas said the Obama administration failed to comply with federal administrative regulations when it launched the DACA program in 2012.
“While the law certainly gives the agency some discretion, it does not extend the power to put in place a program that allows deferred action and legitimate presence, and in turn, work permits and numerous other benefits for 1.5 million people illegally entering the country” wrote Hanen.
Hanen argued that the DACA program was illegal because its creation violated the material and procedural aspects of the Administrative Procedure Act (VwVG).
It was a lawsuit from Texas and eight other states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina, and West Virginia, whose governors or attorneys general are all Republicans.
Trump ordered the end of DACA
In 2017, former President Trump ordered an end to the DACA program, but it was later decided 5 to 4 in 2020 that the Trump administration could not close DACA immediately.
Fortunately for Ian and the other current DACA recipients, the latest ruling has no impact on them. However, the ruling will deter the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from approving new DACA filings.
Immigration attorney Randy Feldman
Worcester immigration attorney Randy Feldman filed two new DACA cases – no extensions – prior to the ruling last Friday and will see whether the cases are approved or not.
“These are new applicants. You are not a renewal applicant. We have also made some renewals, but this (judgment) only prevents new applicants, ”Feldman said.
Feldman argued that the rationale for the verdict had either to do with politics or revenge, and the lawsuit against DACA was not filed when former President Obama passed it.
“If you didn’t bring it when it started in 2012, why are you bringing it now? It is likely either for political reasons that they want to stand up against immigrants or undocumented immigrants, or they want the retribution for us who went on trial to stop, ”Feldman said.
“It is cruel not to allow people to apply for this program just because Congress and politicians cannot agree on a meaningful new immigration law,” Feldman continued.
The verdict will be given by the District Court, the District Court, and ultimately the Supreme Court.
Although President Biden immediately replied that the Justice Department plans to appeal the decision, Feldman said they would not know if it could be a “stay” until it works through to the Supreme Court.
“Will it stay available as the Biden administration allows? Or will there be a temporary interruption or interruption to the program? Will the appointment be continued? ”Asked Feldmann.
The appeal will not only be a decision of President Biden, but also the decision of the judge.
“Unfortunately for my side, for the immigrant side, it’s likely to lose on the next level of the Louisiana District Court, and when it comes to the Supreme Court, I don’t know. It will probably lose too, ”said Feldman. “So Biden is likely to be looking for some kind of legislative agreement with Congress so we can stop using only presidential and executive administrative measures.”
Like many other immigrants, Ian moved his family to the United States 18 years ago for better opportunities. When he first came to the United States, he was fluent in Swahili, the national language of Kenya.
But when he fitted into the school system here, he lost his mother tongue.
“Now I can only speak English, but I can still understand Swahili,” said Ian.
To read by people who say, “Go back to your country,” discouraged Ian, he said, as do all other dreamers, as many of them know nothing about their home countries.
“I consider myself 100% a citizen of the United States rather than a Kenyan,” said Ian. “I don’t know how it is in Kenya. I have no idea and hardly have any memories of my homeland. All of my closest friends are here. Everything I know is here. ”
Ascentria Care Alliance, an immigration and refugee services organization in Worcester, declined to comment on the story.