Texas has already caught its first break in its new lawsuit to stop the Obama-era DACA program, after the case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen.
A Republican appointee to the bench, Judge Hanen has already ruled against a similar deportation amnesty in 2015. And during that case he expressed skepticism about DACA itself, saying it seemed to stray beyond the bounds of discretion then-President Obama had claimed in setting up the program.
Judge Hanen, whose courtroom is in southern Texas, was one of the first to spot to surge of illegal immigrant children headed to the border in 2013 — a surge which crested in 2014 with the UAC wave that overwhelmed the Obama administration, and whose repercussions are still being felt today with the latest caravan of illegal immigrants.
He will now oversee the latest in an ever-expanding and complicated legal battle over DACA, which Mr. Obama created in 2012 to grant tentative legal status to illegal immigrant “Dreamers.” DACA was controversial from the start, and President Trump attempted to phase it out.
But several federal judges have blocked the phaseout.
Now Texas says the original program itself was illegal. If they win that argument, all the wrangling over the phaseout could become moot.
Immigrant-rights activists bemoaned Judge Hanen’s assignment to the Texas case.
“Not a friend,” wrote Ali Noorani, head of the National Immigration Forum.