U.S. District Judge John Bates said the government does not have to accept new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) requests, on Friday, going back on his initial order from Aug. 3.
Illegal immigrants who were brought over as children, known as “Dreamers,” can renew their DACA applications, but no new requests will be processed, The Associated Pressreported.
Bates initially ordered U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to restart DACA by Aug. 23. USCIS warned restarting the program would force the agency to look at the uptick of roughly 50,000 new DACA applications instead of focusing on legal immigrant and guest worker applications, The Washington Times reported on Aug. 15.
The judge also delayed on providing special protections to DACA recipients. One of those protections is advance parole, where recipients can travel outside the U.S. and reenter the country, which can sometimes lead to citizenship.
Government officials said more than 100,000 new DACA applications and 30,000 advance parole requests would occur if DACA were completely rebooted and cause strain on USCIS, The Washington Times reported Saturday. Bates also feared confusion by restarting DACA even though he said illegal immigrant children were having their rights withheld, according to an opinion.
“Because that confusion would only be magnified if the court’s order regarding initial DACA applications were to take effect now and later be reversed on appeal, the court will grant a limited stay of its order and preserve the status quo pending appeal, as plaintiffs themselves suggest,” Bates said in an opinion Friday, according to The Times.
Bates’ ruling comes as the decision on whether to completely remove DACA looms in Texas. Texas and six other states were in support of making DACA illegal.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, argued that the implementation of DACA was federal overreach and was a financial burden to states, the Dallas Morning Newsreported on Aug. 8. Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which represents DACA recipients in the case, argued that it was six years too late to make such an argument.
There has not been an official decision on the Texas case.