On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas blocked the Biden administration from accepting new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The ruling states that the program is unconstitutional, saying that former President Barack Obama did not have the legal authority to establish the program.

DACA, which was first implemented in 2012 and ended in the Trump era, allows immigrants, who came to the U.S. as undocumented children, to have a work permit and protection from being deported.

“To be clear, the order does not require [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 in the ruling.

Hanen, however, added that current DACA recipients would remain unaffected by the decision. 

“This consideration, along with the Government’s assertion that it is ready and willing to try to remedy the legal defects of the DACA program, indicates that equity will not be served by a complete and immediate cessation of DACA,” Hanen added in the ruling.

More than 600,000 people are currently enrolled in the DACA program. 

President Joe Biden has said that he wants to create a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, the children of migrants who came to the U.S. illegally.

Following the ruling, Biden said in a statement that the decision was “deeply disappointing” and vowed that he would appeal.

“Yesterday’s Federal court ruling is deeply disappointing,” Biden said in a statement. “While the court’s order does not now affect current DACA recipients, this decision nonetheless relegates hundreds of thousands of young immigrants to an uncertain future.”

“The Department of Justice intends to appeal this decision in order to preserve and fortify DACA,” Biden added. “And, as the court recognized, the Department of Homeland Security plans to issue a proposed rule concerning DACA in the near future.”

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