U.S. judge rules DACA program illegal

A U.S. federal judge in Texas ruled DACA illegal on Friday, blocking new applications from undocumented immigrants.

But the order added that the nearly 650,000 people already enrolled would not be affected until further court rulings.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protects immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from being deported, granting them work authorization, access to drivers' licenses, and sometimes financial aid for education.

In his ruling on Friday, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen sided with a group of states which had sued for the program's termination.

He argued that DACA was illegally created by President Barack Obama back in 2012, bypassing the legislative process by providing benefits to recipients without congressional authorization.

The White House and Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has sought to protect DACA, after the Supreme Court blocked his predecessor Donald Trump's bid to end the program last year.

While DACA recipients acknowledge the program's benefits, they say constant court rulings cause immense stress that benefits could be taken away at any moment.

Even though the latest ruling protects DACA holders for now, the prospect of future court proceedings creates further uncertainty.

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