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DACA Attorneys Defend Program’s Legality in Texas Court

Attorneys representing DACA recipients appeared in a Texas court on Thursday to defend the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The federal judge overseeing the case, who previously deemed DACA illegal in 2021, heard arguments regarding a recent Biden administration rule that transformed the program into a federal regulation to strengthen its legal standing.

The nine states, including Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, and others, that have sued to end DACA were challenged by Nina Perales, an attorney representing DACA recipients. Perales emphasized that these states lack standing to sue and have failed to demonstrate any harm caused by DACA. She argued that DACA is a lawful exercise of executive discretion over immigration and aligns with previous deportation relief policies.

DACA, established in 2012 through an executive order by President Barack Obama, has provided protection from deportation and work and study opportunities for eligible undocumented young adults who arrived in the U.S. as children. Over 580,000 DACA recipients, primarily from Mexico and other Latin American countries, reside in the U.S.

The court’s ruling, expected at a later date, could potentially reach the U.S. Supreme Court for further consideration. DACA recipients and their advocates continue to urge Congress to pass a permanent solution, emphasizing the need for stability and an end to the uncertainty surrounding their futures.

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