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The Future Of DACA May Depend On Congress

As lawmakers return to Washington this week, they’re also being confronted by the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

The program and its supporters were dealt another blow in July when a federal judge in Texas ruled it was illegal, then barred the government from approving any new applications, while leaving it intact for existing recipients.

The Biden Justice Department is challenging the ruling. But the onus may be on Congress to make the so-called “Dream Act” law.

Democrats have sent a bill along to the Senate, and Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva says they’ll do whatever is necessary to codify the legislation.

“We all understood what an urgency it was, and the court ruling made it an even bigger deal," he said. “This is not an issue to be afraid of. The American people support doing something for the DACA students.”

But Republicans like U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar believe the Obama-era program, which protects younger immigrants from deportation, is an overreach.

He says the judge’s ruling will prevail and DACA will be declared illegal.

“The DACA initiative was unconstitutional. Article 1, Section 8 gives full power and jurisdiction of immigration to Congress. Congress has never verified DACA,” Gosar said.

According to the latest Customs and Immigration figures, there are more than 600,000 active DACA recipients in the U.S., including more than 23-thousand in Arizona.

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Phil Latzman is an award-winning digital journalist and broadcast professional with over 25 years of experience covering news and sports on a multitude of platforms.