The Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal on DACA and congressional inaction

It must be so tiring — and stressful — to be a dreamer.

To be, we mean, one of the young people enrolled in the Obama-era DACA program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — caught between here and there, trying to build a future in the only country they’ve ever known while Congress and courts play volleyball with their lives. These people, doing the best they can with limitations that would drive many crazy, deserve our respect and our admiration.

They also deserve some action from Congress. But it’s anyone’s guess when they’ll get it.

The latest plot twist in their drama occurred last week when a federal judge in Texas ruled that DACA was an “illegally implemented program” and said “the public interest of the nation is always served by the cessation of a program that was created in violation of law.” His ruling prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from approving new applications to the program, which grants work permits and reprieves from deportation to the dreamers.

Despite his disfavor, the judge allowed its current recipients — over 600,000 — to keep their protected status. That’s something.

Congressional Democrats and advocates for immigrants called for the government to appeal the ruling, which Rep. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) described as “cruel.”

President Joe Biden agreed, called the ruling “deeply disappointing” and saying the Department of Justice would appeal the decision “in order to preserve and fortify DACA.”

“While the court’s order does not now affect current DACA recipients, this decision nonetheless relegates hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to an uncertain future,” he said in a statement.

The ACLU and Google, one of many companies that employs DACA recipients, also disapproved of the ruling.

But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who was among those who brought the case to court, tweeted that he “defeat(ed the) Biden Administration — AGAIN — on illegal immigration.” ...

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