On September 13, 2023, Judge Andrew S. Hanen, a federal judge in the Southern District of Texas, ruled that the Biden administration’s final DACA rule, issued in August 2022, is unlawful. Judge Hanen previously ruled in July 2021 that the 2012 DACA memorandum, which preceded the rule, was. His earlier ruling was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, but the appellate court sent the case back to Judge Hanen to consider whether there are any material differences between the DACA rule and the 2012 memo.
This Practice Alert goes over Judge Hanen’s latest ruling. It’s important to note that the amended order does not change the status quo. Current DACA recipients, or those whose DACA has lapsed for less than a year, can continue to renew their DACA and work authorization, as well as apply for Advance Parole. However, first-time DACA applications continue to be blocked and cannot be processed.