DACA is illegal, federal judge in Texas rules. What can Congress do now for Dreamers?

In front of the White House, demonstrators try to drum up support for DACA during the Trump administration, September 9, 2017. Photo by Shutterstock.

The Biden administration announced plans to appeal a Texas judge’s ruling that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) is illegal. Andrew Hanen’s ruling from last week bars the government from accepting new applications to the program. Currently, DACA shields more than 600,000 people from deportation who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The policy has operated on shaky ground since former President Donald Trump took office in 2017. 

“This ruling, and particularly the legal grounds of the ruling, has to make a lot of people, even currently those who are part of the program, fairly anxious today,” says Loyola law professor Jessica Levinson. 

In other news, Illinois is now the first state to ban police from lying to minors while they interrogate them. They were generally permitted to do so in the U.S., as affirmed by the Supreme Court in Frazier v. Cupp in 1969. 

Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill late last week, which goes into effect starting January 1, 2022, and prohibits tactics like false promises of leniency or claims that incriminating evidence exists if in actuality, it doesn’t. 

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