A federal judge in Texas has ruled that a program to protect immigrants who come to the United States as children from deportation is illegal.
Judge Andrew Hanen said new applicants should not be registered for postponement of childhood arrival (Daka).
But he said the ruling did not require the government to deport Daka’s recipients.
Currently, about 650,000 people (known as Dreamers) are enrolled in this program.
President Joe Biden has ordered his administration to strengthen the initiative. Last year, the US Supreme Court blocked a bid by former President Donald Trump to end Daka.
In a decision on Friday, Judge Hanen agreed with a group of states that filed a lawsuit alleging that the program was illegally created by former President Barack Obama in 2012.
Texas and eight other conservative states said Mr Obama acted without the legitimate approval of Congress.
Daka recipients are protected from deportation, are granted work permits, have a driver’s license and can apply for educational financial assistance.
This is the second time a Texas federal court has hit Mr. Biden’s immigration agenda.
In January, the judge blocked the Democratic president’s attempt to impose a 100-day moratorium on deportation.
New Jersey Democratic US Senator Bob Menendez tweeted Friday, and it’s time for Mr. Biden’s party, which commands the narrow majority of Capitol Hill, to act.
“Parliament needs to seize the moment and every opportunity to finally provide the way to legalization for millions of undocumented migrants,” he said.
Biden has already proposed a law that provides an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States with a path to US citizenship.
According to the Politico websiteThe Democratic Party plans to create a way to gain citizenship for Dreamers and other undocumented groups in the upcoming $ 3.5 trillion (£ 2.5 trillion) spending bill.
However, it is unclear whether immigration regulations can be obtained by the strict rules of the Senate.
The legal blow to Daka occurs on the day when the number of migrants arriving at the southwestern border broke yet another record.
Border authorities captured migrants there 188,829 times in June. This is the largest number in a month over 20 years.
This included more than 15,000 children traveling alone. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said..
Also on Friday, the Pentagon confirmed to the BBC that Texas’s Laughlin Air Force Base was being used by US immigration authorities to fly undocumented immigrants inside the country.