Fri Sep 29, 2023
Earlier this month, Judge Andrew Hanen—the Bush-appointed judge in Texas who, back in 2015, Republican state elected officials handpicked to give legal effect to their political attacks on the Obama administration’s immigration policies—issued his latest ruling invalidating DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative. Compared to earlier episodes in the long-running litigation over the Obama-era deferred action initiatives, the responses to Hanen’s latest ruling have seemed somewhat muted—not least, perhaps, because the outcome was entirely expected. News organizations and commentators have devoted relatively limited attention to Hanen’s ruling, and statements criticizing the decision have seemed to carry a certain amount of resigned fatigue. DACA’s most outspoken political opponents have also seemed mostly preoccupied by other matters. Even Hanen himself seemed to lack in this decision the kind of big xenophobic energy that he often exhibits in his immigration-related opinions.