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STATEMENT: Today’s Cruel Court Ruling on DACA Underscores the Need for Immediate Congressional Action, CAP’s Philip E. Wolgin Says

Washington, D.C. — Today, a federal judge in Texas ruled against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, halting new applications from being adjudicated, though staying—at least for now—a decision with regard to current recipients. In Texas v. United States, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen sided with the challenge put forward in 2018 by a coalition led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

After the decision, Philip E. Wolgin, acting vice president of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

We are outraged at today’s politically motivated decision ruling against DACA. This decision is cruel, unnecessary, and belies the many contributions that DACA recipients are making to the country at a critical time. And blocking new DACA applications from being adjudicated means that more than 60,000 DACA-eligible individuals, who applied for the program in good faith but have faced significant delays in seeing their applications adjudicated, will now be shut out of the program.

Today, more than 600,000 DACA recipients live and have built careers in the United States; they are the parents of 254,000 U.S.-citizen children and contribute $8.7 million in taxes each year. As the country works to emerge from a public health and economic catastrophe that has claimed the lives of more than 550,000 Americans, 200,000 DACA recipients—including an estimated 29,000 doctors, nurses, and technicians—have been on the front lines protecting the health and safety of Americans and putting their own health and safety and that of their families at risk. Judge Hanen’s decision only adds further uncertainty for these recipients, their families, and their communities.

Today’s ruling redoubles the urgency for Congress to act and deliver the permanent protections that DACA recipients and their families urgently need, including through reconciliation. We have never stopped fighting to protect DACA recipients throughout the Trump administration’s attempts to end the initiative, and we will not stop fighting for them today either.

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