Federal District Judge in Texas Halts DACA

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

On July 16, a federal judge in Texas blocked the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from moving forward. Current recipients are not affected, but new applications will not be accepted.  


The DACA program, which the Obama administration introduced in 2012, provides a legal pathway to U.S. citizenship for undocumented children who were brought to the U.S. without legal status. The program has been a contentious issue since its inception.   

The Plaintiff States, including Texas, argued that the DACA program is illegal because its creation violates the substantive and procedural aspects of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Federal judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court in Houston sided with the Plaintiff States, concluding that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) violated the APA with the creation of the DACA program. Based on the ruling, DHS may continue accepting new and renewal DACA applications, but it cannot approve any new DACA applications.  

Looking Ahead  

The July 16, 2021, court ruling does not impact the approximately 650,000 current DACA recipients in the U.S. Additional information on changes that affect current DACA program recipients will be provided as available.  

Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ian Love, who is the Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm. 

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.