Federal judge rules against states, says DACA can stay

HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has declined to order that the U.S. government stop the Obama-era program shielding young immigrants from deportation.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen's ruling on Friday is a blow to opponents of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. They filed a lawsuit in hopes Hanen would rule the program unconstitutional.

That would have triggered a conflict with three federal orders that have required the U.S. government to keep accepting DACA renewals even after President Donald Trump tried to end the program last year. Legal experts say such a conflict would have drawn the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Texas led a group of seven states suing the U.S. government to end DACA. With federal officials also now opposing the program, other states intervened to defend it, as did the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

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