Skip to main content

NAKASEC Network Responds to Hanen’s Decision on DACA

By 14 September 2023No Comments

September 13, 2023
Media contact: Rachel Koelzer ( / 213-703-0992)

Houston, TX – Today, Judge Hanen released his latest decision, predictably ruling against DACA. It is disappointing but not unexpected. Please note, however, Judge Hanen’s decision continues to allow current DACA recipients to renew their DACA.

The DACA program was won in 2012 through the relentless fighting and hard work of Black, brown, Asian, and immigrant individuals and communities. It has helped incorporate hundreds of thousands of people into the workforce and higher education spaces while protecting them from detention and deportation. Recent adjudications on the DACA program from New Orleans to New York, along with increases in mainstream xenophobic and racist rhetoric, underscore the deep need for permanent protections for immigrant communities.

Racism, anti-Blackness, xenophobia, classism, and ableism have been baked into the foundations of the United States from its inception. Today, they continue to drive the creation of unequal political and social structures and systems, including the immigration system. We see this through the continual denial of resources and permanent protections for Black, brown and Asian individuals and families seeking to move – whether for safety, opportunity, or reuniting with family.

DACA recipient, intervenor-defendant in the Fifth Circuit case, and NAKASEC Co-Director, Jung Woo Kim: “This decision is a reminder that we cannot wait for the courts to act for our communities. DACA alone cannot be enough. We need permanent protections, and we need them for all of us, not just for a few. In the face of unprecedented attacks on our immigrant communities, President Biden and Congress have a choice: they are either with us or against us. That 11 million of us continue to live undocumented without dignity and without protection is due to their lack of responsibility and action. We call on them to pass the registry bill and secure permanent protections for the 11 million. This bill, recently introduced in the House and Senate, would create a rolling registry date and is a great first step toward creating comprehensive, inclusive, and humane immigration policies that recognize and uphold every person’s right to live safely, fully, and with loved ones.”

To be clear: there are no changes to the status quo. New applications are still blocked and we strongly encourage current DACA recipients to continue renewing their DACA.

In response to the decision, NAKASEC will hold a virtual call for community members on Thursday, September 14 at 5pm PT / 7pm CT / 8pm ET. Register for the call and follow NAKASEC’s accounts (@nakasec) to get updates. This call will be closed to the press.

Background: The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was created in 2012 through an executive order of then-President Barack Obama. A temporary program requiring renewal every two years, DACA grants work permits and safety from deportation for hundreds of thousands of young people who arrived in the United States before June 15, 2007. In July 2021, Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas deemed DACA unlawful and ordered that new applications be halted. On July 6, 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana, heard oral arguments on the case. The Fifth Circuit ruled DACA was unlawful and sent the case back down to Judge Hanen, who heard oral arguments on June 1, 2023.

Hamkae Center is a community-based organization with a mission to organize Asian Americans in Virginia to achieve social, economic, and racial justice. Alongside its community members, Hamkae Center works to build a future in which low- and middle-income, immigrant, people of color, and all marginalized communities can fully participate in U.S. society and work together as makers of lasting change.
We are the Virginia affiliate of the NAKASEC Network. Other members include HANA Center (Illinois), Woori Center (Pennsylvania), MinKwon Center for Community Action (New York), and Woori Juntos (Texas).