BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The future of so called “Dreamers” is facing yet another uphill legal battle. Friday the feeling of uncertainty creeped up on recipients of The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program when a Texas federal judge deemed the Obama-era program unconstitutional.
In his 77-page injunction, Judge Andrew Hanen sided with the Lone Star state’s Attorney General and 8 other states who sued the federal government in 2018 alleging the program was an overreach by former democratic President Barack Obama.
“I think the pressure has been building for many, many years, especially with DACA,” said Managing Attorney with Eaton & Associates Gabriela Lopez. “”Everybody is tired, we are tired of being in this situation repeatedly with such uncertainty.”
The injunction does not affect current recipients and renewals will still be accepted. It’s the first timers that will miss out as new and pending applications are not being processed.
“In this case they are saying ‘no, you’re granting this whole group of people this status.” said Lopez. “They’re such an intricate part of our community, here and nationwide and something does need to happen.”
According to the Migrant Policy Institute, more than 616,000 undocumented youth are part of DACA.
In California, more than 175,500 call the Golden State home. Thousands of undocumented youth whom Lopez now has to inform that their dream is being dashed.
“We are going to have to sit down with those people individually as to whether they want to go ahead and file,” said Lopez. “We are against it and we’re speaking out, and we are saying Congress must act that’s the only way we will have a definite answer is if Congress finds a legal pathway for people to become legal citizens.”
The future of DACA now depends on the federal appeals court but the panorama there does not seem promising. DACA recipients now placing their hope on the Supreme Court, the Biden Administration or even Congress to rescue the program.