A federal judge in southern Texas on Friday ordered the Biden administration to immediately stop accepting new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. The program protects from deportation those immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. The ruling sides with several states that sued to end the Obama-era policy, arguing it was created illegally. Current DACA recipients will not have their status pulled, according to the ruling but it puts in jeopardy a program that President Biden has been trying to preserve.
New Jersey has roughly 17,000 active DACA recipients and another 36,000 who qualify but are not currently enrolled. In a statement, the Biden administration said the Department of Justice will appeal the decision and called on Congress to pass legislation creating a path to citizenship for the so-called Dreamers, as DACA applicants have become known.