Nine Republican-led states have requested for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to be blocked by a federal Texas judge.

Here’s what we know.

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What is DACA?

DACA allows immigrants under 16 years old to come into the U.S. and be protected from deportation and given a work permit that can be renewed every two years.

The program was created on June 15, 2012, and since then has allowed roughly 832,881 young adults to “attend school, and plan their lives without the constant threat of deportation,” according to the American Immigration Council.

Former President Barack Obama said back during the program’s inception, “These are young people who study in our schools, they play In our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.”

Axios reported that the Biden administration announced last year that, despite legal challenges facing DACA, it would “preserve and fortify” the program.

“Thanks to DACA, we have been enriched by young people who contribute so much to our communities and our country. Yet, we need Congress to pass legislation that provides an enduring solution for the young Dreamers who have known no country other than the United States as their own,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said.

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Which states are blocking DACA?

USA Today reported that the states that are a part of the coalition that claims DACA is “unlawful” are “Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia.”

These states deem that those currently enrolled in the program should no longer be approved for renewal and that DACA should not take on more immigrants, as the Biden administration’s new regulation regarding the program is unlawful, according to The Hill.

Texas federal district Judge Andrew Hanen ruled in 2021 that DACA was a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Boundless reported that the Biden administration “fortified” DACA in October 2022 by allowing more immigrants to renew and or enroll in the program.

The nine states reportedly have requested for Hanen to look over the new regulation put forth by the Biden administration, claiming this move to be unlawful.

“The Final Rule — as the latest manifestation of the DACA program — is substantively unlawful for the same reasons as the DACA Memorandum. The court should declare it unlawful and unconstitutional, vacate it in its entirety, and permanently enjoin its implementation,” the filing states, according to CNN.

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