No ruling in case deciding fate of DACA immigration program

A federal judge did not immediately rule on a closely watched case over the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which confers limited protections on hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought into the U.S. as children

HOUSTON -- A federal judge did not immediately rule Tuesday on a closely watched case over the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which confers limited protections on hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought into the U.S. as children.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen set an early April deadline for lawyers on both sides to provide more information.

Texas heads a coalition of Republican-led states that want Hanen to invalidate the DACA program, instituted in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama. Defending the program is the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the state of New Jersey.

DACA recipients are granted a two-year reprieve from deportation that can be extended and receive a work permit and a Social Security number. The more than 600,000 people currently in the program must meet several requirements, including having no criminal record. Immigrants who are accepted and later get arrested face deportation to their country of origin.

But the program remains on potentially precarious ground. Lawyers for Texas on Tuesday pushed Hanen to quickly invalidate DACA. MALDEF has asked Hanen to delay any new order as President Joe Biden's administration and Congress consider legislation addressing DACA recipients.

Hanen noted that there had been dozens of failed proposals in the years since Obama enacted DACA.

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