Things That Matter

Texas Is Leading The Charge To Overturn DACA And This Man Is Behind The Fight

The state of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is currently in limbo, as it has been since Donald Trump became president. The Democrats are fighting to keep the program that protects young undocumented people from being deported, while the Republicans are putting up their own fight to end it. In the end, however, it’s not going to be up to either party. The U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately decide in October the fate of the program and the estimated 800,000 people that are currently enrolled. There is one man that is fighting DACA tooth and nail and has been doing so for years. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is one of the fiercest critics of DACA and he just filed an amicus brief on behalf of Texas, and 12 other states. 

Credit: @TXAG / Twitter

An amicus brief is a legal document that is “filed in appellate court cases by non-litigants with a strong interest in the subject matter,” and Paxton has a robust interest in the matter. The other heads of state that signed the legal document include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Mississippi.

“The DACA program was a lawless exercise of executive power, and the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA was absolutely necessary to uphold the rule of law,” Paxton said in a statement. “By creating DACA and DAPA, the Obama administration attempted to bypass Congress and unilaterally amend our immigration laws. The president’s duty is to ensure that the law is faithfully executed, not to unilaterally re-write the law anytime the president disagrees with Congress’ decision.”

The fight against DACA has been Paxton’s most significant battle since 2017.

Credit: @SenatorDurbin / Twitter

He alleges that that DACA “puts undue financial strain on states. Under DACA, states bear the cost of providing social services including healthcare, education, and law enforcement, to non-citizens. Texas alone incurs more than $250,000,000 in total direct costs from DACA recipients each year.”

He’s actually wrong about that. DACA recipients, many of which that are highly paid professionals, contribute billions to the United States, which is why most Americans want the program to remain as is

Several appeals courts have already ruled that DACA must remain in place. They stated that the president can make some changes but cannot end it altogether. 

Credit: @statesman / Twitter

In November 2018, a Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuit ruled “the cruelty and wastefulness of deporting productive young people to countries with which they have no ties.”

That is why the case has been turned over the Supreme Court. The highest court can also hear from both advocates and opponents, and try to settle this matter out of court. However, because the House and Senate are so divided, no conclusion has been met. 

“We will continue to fight tirelessly to protect these outstanding young men and women as we work to ensure America remains a nation of hope, freedom, and opportunity for all,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement after the court’s announcement this summer, according to the New York Times

Paxton is eager to win this fight, despite not hearing from his own party, including people that voted for him.  

Credit: @TheToddSchulte / Twitter

Republican voters have told him to end this battle because it’s not worth it. In 2017, Norman E. Adams, Co-founder of the Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy, and a conservative voter sent Paxton an open letter, in which he stated: 

Dear Mr. Paxton, 

First of all, I want you to know that my wife and I contributed to your campaign and voted for you. We did the same for President Trump, and we are proud of what he has done. We are not as happy with what you are doing. General Paxton, your threat of a lawsuit to overturn DACA is a big mistake. Instead of opposing DACA, Texas should follow President Trump’s lead on the 800,000 so-called “dreamers.” Evidently, you have been convinced that opposing DACA is good for you politically. We did not elect you to practice politics. We elected you to use good judgment and to make sound decisions that benefit Texans.

Paxton can fight all he wants but he should know that DACA supporters (both Democrat and Republican) will fight for DREAMers as well. And, since he is DACA’s loudest critic he doesn’t have much a chance to win anyway. 

READ: Experts Are Warning The U.S. Supreme Court About The Economic Impacts Of Rescinding DACA Protections

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