The U.S. Department of Justice says they will appeal a decision made by a Texas judge that ruled against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
President Joe Biden called the ruling "deeply disappointing" and asserted that it "relegates hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to an uncertain future."
DACA is an Obama-era program that has protected more than 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation since 2012.
"This consideration, along with the Government's assertion that it is ready and willing to try to remedy the legal defects of the DACA program, indicates that equity will not be served by a complete and immediate cessation of DACA," a judge wrote in the ruling.
According to the decision, DACA cannot accept any new applicants, but current immigrants protected by the program can keep their status. Renewals will also be processed during appeals.
"This ruling is wrong and is subject to appeal," Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said in a statement, adding that "Dreamers' futures shouldn't be in the hands of the courts."
"It is absolutely urgent that Congress acts now through the budget reconciliation process to provide Dreamers and other undocumented members of our communities with reliable status and a pathway to citizenship," Jadwat said.
DACA started in 2012 and allows some young illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to live and work in the country for two-year periods that are subject to renewal.
Former President Donald Trump tried to dismantle the program during his presidential term, but the Supreme Court ruled in 2020 against his plan.
At the end of 2020, some 636,000 people were protected under DACA, according to NPR.
"The evidence is clear and indisputable," said Roberto G. Gonzales, a professor at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. "DACA has made a tremendous impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people over the last eight years."
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.