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People hold signs during a rally in support of the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, in San Diego, California, June 18, 2020. Photo: Sandy Huffaker / AFP

A federal judge ruled on Friday that President Obama did not have the legal authority to create the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which offers protection from deportation for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

The latest: Calling the ruling "disappointing," President Biden on Saturday urged Congress to "ensure a permanent solution by granting a path to citizenship for Dreamers that will provide the certainty and stability that these young people need and deserve."

  • "I have repeatedly called on Congress to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, and I now renew that call with the greatest urgency," Biden said, adding: "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."

Why it matters: The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered the Biden administration to cease approving new DACA applications but specified that the decision would not affect current recipients for now.

  • The decision followed a challenge to the program filed by the attorneys general for nine Republican-led states, including Texas, who argued that DACA was improperly adopted and financially burdened them by making them pay for DACA recipients' education and health care.

What they're saying: U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen held that the creation of the program violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs how federal agencies develop and issue regulations.

  • "To be clear, neither this order nor the accompanying injunction requires [the Department of Homeland Security] or the Department of Justice to take any immigration, deportation, or criminal action against any DACA recipient, applicant, or any other individual that it would not otherwise take," Hanen wrote.

“This ruling is wrong and is subject to appeal," Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU's Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement.

  • "But Dreamers’ futures shouldn’t be in the hands of the courts. It is absolutely urgent that Congress acts now through the budget reconciliation process to provide Dreamers and other undocumented members of our communities with reliable status and a pathway to citizenship.”

The big picture: Congress has for years tried to pass a legislative solution that would allow DACA recipients to live permanently in the United States, but those efforts have repeatedly failed.

  • "[T]he court takes no position on how DHS (or Congress, should it decide to take up the issue) should resolve these considerations, so long as that resolution complies with the law," Hanen wrote.
  • Senate Democrats hope to tie key immigration reforms to the next budget reconciliation package.

What's next: Biden said that the Department of Justice will appeal the decision to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Department of Homeland Security will "issue a proposed rule concerning DACA in the near future."

Read the full ruling:

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Go deeper

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Texas urges Supreme Court to leave abortion ban in place

Photo: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to keep in place a law that bans abortions after an embryo's cardiac activity is detected, which can be as soon as six weeks and before many people know they are pregnant.

Driving the news: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking the high court to ignore the Justice Department's emergency request that they temporarily block the law while federal courts consider its constitutionality since it "lacks standing because it has not been injured by SB 8."

ACLU sues Texas school district for punishing boys with long hair

An instructor leads a classroom discussion at the Xavier Academy in Houston, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of seven students in a Texas school district over what they call a discriminatory policy requiring boys, but not girls, to wear short hair.

Driving the news: School officials in the Magnolia Independent School District have punished boys for having long hair, including one 9-year-old student who was forced to serve an in-school suspension for a month and be removed from campus, according to the lawsuit.