When former President Barack Obama assumed the presidency, he had a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. In 2010, approximately two years into his initial term, the Senate conducted a vote regarding the DREAM Act, aimed at providing protection for immigrants who had entered the United States illegally as children.
Regrettably, Democratic Senators played a significant role in the bill’s failure. The legislation faced opposition from five members of the Democratic party, and had they presented a united front, the bill would likely have been approved. Tragically, it ultimately met its demise with a vote count of 55 against and 41 in favor.
In 2012, President Obama employed an executive order to independently safeguard DREAMers and put into effect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Fast forward over ten years, and a federal judge has once more declared the policy to be unlawful.
President Joe Biden made an effort to formalize the DACA program, mirroring the approach taken by his former superior in 2012, where he bypassed Congress. However, Republicans from various states filed lawsuits against the Biden administration, and on September 13, US District Judge Andrew Hanen issued a verdict, deeming the policy to be in violation of the law.
This marks the judge’s second ruling against DACA. As reported by The Associated Press, the judge expressed his understanding and compassion for DACA recipients and their families. However, he highlighted long-standing concerns about the program’s legality.
He further elucidated that the president had overstepped his authority when implementing the program, emphasizing that the President of the United States was not permitted to encroach upon Congress’s constitutional powers, even in situations where there was a legislative vacuum.
In 2021, Hanen delivered a comparable ruling. In both instances, he halted the approval of new applicants for the program but permitted those presently under its protection to renew their status.
In 2020, the Supreme Court determined that former President Donald Trump had not adhered to correct procedures when attempting to revoke the program. Consequently, the justices upheld DACA’s existence. Nevertheless, they did not render a verdict regarding its legality.
The Biden administration intends to challenge Judge Hanen’s ruling through an appeal, which will initially proceed to the Fifth Circuit. It’s worth noting that this court has previously ruled against the policy. Ultimately, there is an anticipation that the case will reach the Supreme Court once more, where the justices will make a definitive judgment on the program’s legality.
An alternative resolution to this problem would involve Congress enacting the DREAM Act, thereby safeguarding individuals who came to the country as minors. At one point, there was bipartisan backing for this initiative, although it has never approached passage as closely as it did in 2010. While the Left often attributes the failure to pass it to the Right, a closer examination of congressional records reveals a different narrative.