In yet another another blow to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Texas and six other states are suing to end the program that would protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation. The lawsuit filed on Tuesday by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, comes a week after a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to continue the program which has been in the midst of a year long legal battle. Paxton had threatened legal action for the past year if the program didn’t end.
Earlier this year, a ruling by a U.S. District Court in California blocked the federal government from canceling DACA, forcing the administration to leave it in place indefinitely. Similar decisions were issued by district courts in New York and Washington. The Washington Circuit Court ruled on April 24 that the Trump administration has 90 days to fully restore DACA.
Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia are suing the U.S. government to end DACA.
Seven states suing the federal government to end DACA account for 19% of the total active DACA-recipient population in the U.S.
—Est. Total: 693,850—
— Fox News Research (@FoxNewsResearch) May 3, 2018
This isn’t the first time Paxton has attempted to end programs similar to DACA. Back in 2014, Texas led a charge in suing the federal government over a new immigration policy the Obama administration was trying to roll out. The program was Deferred Action for Parent of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents (DAPA) and included a DACA expansion. The case was taken to 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals and in 2016 made its way to the Supreme Court, where justices deadlocked the case 4-4.
“Our lawsuit is about the rule of law, not the wisdom of any particular immigration policy,” Paxton said in a statement. “Left intact, DACA sets a dangerous precedent by giving the executive branch sweeping authority to ignore the laws enacted by Congress and change our nation’s immigration laws to suit a president’s own policy preferences.”
The GOP party has battled DACA since the program was put in place in 2012 by then President Obama.
Texas and six other states are suing the Trump administration to end the program that protects so-called Dreamers from deportation. They want DACA to be declared unlawful: pic.twitter.com/P58U89l5MP
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 2, 2018
Since President Donald Trump began his run for office, immigration reform has been one of his biggest targets with DACA at the top of his list. Upon taking office Trump removed privacy protections for DACA recipients with a provision in his executive order. Under the Obama administration, the information of DACA recipients was protected from ICE agents.
Immigration reform has been one of the most divisive issues in the country and has been more divided since Trump took office.
"The government’s decision to end the program was predicated on the 'virtually unexplained' grounds that the program was 'unlawful.'" Thank you, Judge Bates, for choosing to protect young immigrants and keep families together! #DACADreamers https://t.co/XXhTPmxyAq
— Karla Souza (@KarlaSouza7) May 1, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last September it would end the DACA program by March 5, setting up a six-month deadline for Congress to address those who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. However, the latest court decision from Washington means that United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement must accept renewal requests.
There are currently 689,000 DACA recipients in the US as of Sept. 4, 2017.
DACA protects young undocumented immigrants who came to America as children. Texas harbors a substantial amount of the kids you’re trying to banish from the only place they’ve ever called “home”.
That is NOTHING to be proud of, Ken. https://t.co/0y9Qu5JKnQ
— ☽☼ⓚⓔⓔ☼☾ (@xOMGkee) May 2, 2018
At the program’s peak, 800,000 people were approved for DACA since it was launched in 2012 and 40,000 became legal permanent residents, obtaining green cards.
The next chapter for DACA could be decided in a Supreme Court case that could happen as early as this year.
— Linda Ramey (@lindaluvinlife1) May 2, 2018
This means that DACA renewals will likely remain open at least until the Supreme Court agrees to take up the case after the appeals courts rule which will be during the Court’s next term, which starts this October.