NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Immigrant advocates are hoping a federal appeals court will uphold an Obama-era program that prevents the deportation of thousands of immigrants brought into the United States as children.
Three judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans are hearing arguments Wednesday.
The hearing follows a federal judge in Texas declaring the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program illegal. The judge agreed to leave the program intact for those already benefiting from it while his order is appealed. However, no new applications could be granted.
The lawsuit was brought by Texas and several other states, which claim the program strains resources and is an overreach by the federal government.
US Citizen and Immigration Services reports that there are more than 600,000 immigrants in the DACA program.
Dozens of DACA proponents carried signs, beat drums and chanted in support of beneficiaries of the program prior to Wednesday’s hearing.