Judge orders Biden administration to stop approving new DACA applications

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Demonstrators hold illuminated signs during a rally supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), or the Dream Act, outside the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., Jan. 18, 2018.
Zach Gibson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A federal judge in southern Texas on Friday ordered the Biden administration to stop granting new applications to the Obama-era immigration program that shielded hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

But current recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, won't immediately have their status pulled as a result of the order, the judge noted.

The ruling, which puts in jeopardy the program President Joe Biden had sought to preserve, came as outlets reported arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border reaching their highest level in more than a decade.

“From this date forward, the United States of America, its departments, agencies, officers, agents, and employees are hereby enjoined from administering the DACA program,” U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen wrote in a five-page order.

Those entities are also barred from reimplementing the program without compliance with another law that governs federal regulatory procedure, the judge's order said.

The White House and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Hanen's order said that the DACA program, created in 2012 through a policy memorandum from then-President Barack Obama's Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano, was “illegally implemented.”

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