Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, joined by six other states, including Arkansas, Alabama, South Carolina, West Virginia, Nebraska and Louisiana filed a lawsuit Monday 1, 2018 to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, citing that its creation unconstitutional and violated the federal law. The lawsuit asserts that the Obama administration overstepped its authority when the program was created.
DACA allows undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children to remain in the country, without congressional approval. The program allows them to pursue vocational and educational goals in the country they grew up in. The states suing to end DACA want the executive branch to stop granting present aliens lawful work authorization and presence. The lawsuit asks the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas to cancel all DACA permits and block the government from renewing or issuing DACA permits. This would phase out the program within two years. The lawsuit does not seek the deportation of any immigrants currently in the country with DACA protections, the motive is to get the government to stop renewing or issuing any DACA permits in the future.
President Trump’s Move Blocked
In June 2017, Paxton and nine other states threatened to move to court if Trump’s administration had not canceled it by September. Reacting to the threats, the administration decided to end the program in September with a short time ostensibly allowed for Congress to save it legislatively. But multiple lawsuits were filed challenging how the program was ended and this resulted in multiple federal judges ordering the Department of Homeland Security to continue processing renewals for the participants in the program.
This new lawsuit also comes a week after a federal judge in D.C. allowed the department to continue accepting new applications and providing protections from deportations unless a new legal justification for ending the program was provided. The judge rejected Trump’s administration reasoning for ending the program, which was based on the possibility of a court terminating DACA in response to Paxton’s lawsuit. Previously, judges in New York and California had ordered the administration to renew the two-year work permits for individuals enrolled in the program.