Obama calls on Congress to find permanent solution for Dreamers following federal judge ruling
© Getty Images

Former President Obama called on Congress to pass legislation that would provide permanent protections to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors, known as Dreamers, following a ruling issued Friday that blocked new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“For more than nine years, DREAMers have watched courts and politicians debate whether they’ll be allowed to stay in the only country many of them have ever known. It’s long past time for Congress to act and give them the protection and certainty they deserve,” Obama said in a tweet on Saturday.

In a ruling issued on Friday, a federal judge in Texas blocked new applications for the DACA program, saying the Department of Homeland Security violated the Administrative Procedure Act "with the creation of DACA and its continued operation."

Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling does not affect the status of the more than 600,000 current DACA recipients, who will be allowed to remain in the program and renew their benefits — shielding immigrants from deportation and offering work permits — pending a future order from Hanen himself, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court. 

The Obama-era program was created in 2012 through an executive order following several failed efforts to pass legislation in Congress. President BidenJoe BidenBiden authorizes up to 0M for Afghan refugees Poll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe MORE signed an executive order shortly after taking office to preserve the DACA program.

In his own statement on Saturday, Biden called the ruling "deeply disappointing."

“The Department of Justice intends to appeal this decision in order to preserve and fortify DACA. And, as the court recognized, the Department of Homeland Security plans to issue a proposed rule concerning DACA in the near future,” he said.

Biden also called on Congress to pass a permanent solution that provides a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.

“It is my fervent hope that through reconciliation or other means, Congress will finally provide security to all Dreamers, who have lived too long in fear,” he said.