A federal judge in Texas recently decided something that was unfortunately not surprising: He blocked the possibility of the federal government approving the DACA program to new applicants, arguing that then-President Barack Obama lacked the legal authority to grant widespread relief. undocumented youth.
The 77-page ruling of Judge Andrew Hanen, appointed by President George W. Bush, was unfortunately expected, since 2018 he had made it clear that it was up to the federal Congress, not the president, to decide on the advisability of protecting those who had been brought as minors by their parents to the United States without legal documentation.
His order does not affect the more than 600,000 young people who are currently DACA recipients, who will be able to remain protected under the program and even apply for renewal, but the ruling closes the doors, at least temporarily, to new applicants, which could potentially affect the future of thousands of young people qualifying under DACA.
Less than 24 hours after the ruling, President Joe Biden made it clear that his Department of Justice will appeal the judicial decision and took the opportunity to renew his call to Congress to approve once and for all a permanent and deserved solution to these extraordinary young people who are Americans at heart, except for legal documentation.
Frustrated by unsuccessful negotiations with Republicans who oppose giving relief to immigrants, Democrats made a bold decision shortly before the ruling last week: they included a path to citizenship for DREAMers, beneficiaries of TPS as well as for essential workers, including agricultural workers, within the massive infrastructure package that congress is preparing to debate.
His plan is to achieve the approval of this urgent immigration relief through the reconciliation process, which would allow Democrats to pass the bill with a simple majority, that is, without having the support or votes of any Republican, neither in the House of Representatives nor in the Senate.
However, the Democratic maneuver has more obstacles than are apparent. First, the congressional parliamentary expert must determine that immigration relief such as the one Democrats plan is eligible to be voted on within the reconciliation process, which was institutionally designed for budget issues.
Second, Democrats must avoid defections from their ranks. It would not be the first time that conservatively oriented Democratic senators, or senators facing re-election in states where immigration is divisive, have poured a bucket of cold water on the ambitions of the more progressive sector of the Democratic party.
For this reason it is up to the Democrats, independent organizations for the defense of Hispanics and migrants, and also society as a whole, to raise their voices for these young people, so that Congress commits an act of responsibility of consistency, creating a permanent, just solution.
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