Tag Archives: Obamaera

Texas judge’s ruling blocks new applications to the Obama-era program, which shields some undocumented immigrants from deportation

The ruling from Judge Andrew Hanen would bar future applications. It does not immediately cancel current permits for hundreds of thousands of people — though it once again leaves them in devastating legal limbo and is a reminder of the uncertainty they face.
DACA, created in 2012, was intended to provide temporary reprieve to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children — a group often described as “Dreamers” — many of whom are now adults.
But almost a decade since the program was established, DACA is still one of the only signs of potential relief for undocumented immigrants looking to remain and work in the US.
Hanen, an appointee of President George W. Bush, ruled that Congress had not granted the Department of Homeland Security the authority to create DACA and that it prevented immigration officials from enforcing removal provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
“Congress has not granted the Executive Branch free rein to grant lawful presence outside the ambit of the statutory scheme,” Hanen wrote.
Congress remains the only body that can provide a permanent solution for DACA recipients through legislation, but immigration legislation has been stalled for years.
Democrats immediately called for Congress to act.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat, and his twin brother Julian Castro, who served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development under former President Barack Obama, called the decision is “terrible.”
“The dreams of hundreds of thousands of young people who are contributing to the American economy will be put on hold for no good reason. Congress must pass a pathway to citizenship this year. We can’t wait,” Rep. Castro said on Twitter.
“Dreamers have lived in uncertainty for far too long. It’s time Congress give them the protections they deserve. We must pass the budget reconciliation bill,” Julián Castro said.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell said on Twitter, “This rightwing hack judge in Texas is trying to unilaterally stop the DACA program. This decision must be appealed and tossed out.”
The White House, Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Long legal fight

Hanen’s shocking Friday afternoon ruling is the latest dramatic twist in the nearly decade-old DACA program.
The Trump administration tried ending DACA in 2017, but the US Supreme Court blocked its attempt in June 2020.
After the Supreme Court ruling, the Trump administration then tried to say no new DACA applications would be accepted and renewals would be limited to one year instead of two amid an ongoing review. A separate federal judge rejected that and ordered the restoration of the program.
The lawsuit was originally brought by Texas — along with Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia — which argued that the program placed an undue burden on the states and amounted to executive overreach. Hanen heard oral arguments in the case in December.
In his ruling Friday, Hanen cited the earlier Supreme Court decision, pointing to the majority’s determination that courts have the authority to review the DACA memorandum. But Hanen also drew from a dissent written by Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, that said DACA was an “unlawful program.”
“Justice Thomas noted that the majority’s failure to address DACA’s creation was ‘an effort to avoid a politically controversially but legally correct decision’ that would result in future ‘battles to be fought in this Court,'” Hanen wrote. “While the controversial issue may ultimately return to the Supreme Court, the battle Justice Thomas predicted currently resides here and it is not one this Court can avoid.”
This story is breaking and will be updated.

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Biden staff vetting Obama-era lawyer for DOJ antitrust division: report

President BidenJoe BidenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden shifts on filibuster GOP looks to squeeze Biden, Democrats on border Sanders creates new headache for Biden on taxes MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1]’s team is reportedly vetting a lawyer who served as the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) general counsel under former President Obama for a top antitrust post. 

According to Politico, which cited two sources familiar with the matter, Jonathan Sallet, who played a key role in formulating the FCC’s net neutrality rules, has been in talks for several weeks now for a top role to work on Biden’s competition policy. [7]

One potential position Sallet could take on is leading the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, where Sallet served as deputy assistant attorney general for litigation from 2016 to 2017.


Sallet as the DOJ’s top litigator helped block Halliburton’s $ 36 billion deal to purchase rival Baker Hughes, and also filed and won suits against Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana mergers.

Politico reported that Sallet could also be a possibility for permanent chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

While Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine confirmed last week that he is being considered to head the FTC, which enforces antitrust and consumer protection laws, Biden has yet to make a formal announcement on the role. 

A top appointment of Sallet, who while at the FCC led the agency’s reviews of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, would signal a move by Biden to continue efforts at aggressively enforcing communications and consumer protection laws. 

Biden has faced substantial pressure to appoint individuals as FTC chair and DOJ antitrust chief who would seek to hold online platforms accountable, including tech giants like Google and Facebook. 

Sallet while working for Colorado Attorney General Phil Wesier, led a multi-state antitrust investigation into Google’s online search engine, and also served as the primary author of a complaint filed in late December against Google on behalf of more than 30 states and territories. 


The complaint seeks to break up the tech giant and specifically accuses Google of holding an unhealthy monopoly online that forces out competitors. 

Sallet did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for confirmation on Politico’s report. 

The report comes the same day the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it would be looking into Facebook’s acquisition of animated image search engine Giphy, arguing that the merger raised competition concerns. [8]

Regulators in Australia are conducting their own independent investigation into the deal, and lawmakers in the U.S. have also pushed for American antitrust regulators to look into it.

[email protected] (Celine Castronuovo)