The State of Texas and six others filed a lawsuit against the federal government to challenge the “unconstitutional Obama-Era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the coalition’s intent to end the DACA program that granted lawful presence and work permits to nearly one million illegal immigrants. President Barack Obama initiated the executive action without congressional approval.
Paxton said that the Obama Administration promised that DACA would never provide a pathway to citizenship. However, as of August 2017, 1,56 DACA recipients have been naturalized and an additional 39,514 are on a pathway to citizenship, Paxton stated.
“Our lawsuit is about the rule of law, not the wisdom of any particular immigration policy,” Attorney General Paxton said in a written statement. “Texas has argued for years that the federal executive branch lacks the power to unilaterally grant unlawfully present aliens lawful presence and work authorization. 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 members of the coalition filed the lawsuit in the Southern District of Texas. The states ask the court to declare the program unconstitutional and stop the federal government from issuing or renewing any DACA permits. The states are not asking that any existing DACA permits be revoked or that any person covered by DACA be removed, Paxton explained.
“The president has a duty under the Constitution to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,’ and DACA does exactly the opposite,” the Texas Attorney General stated. It encourages lawlessness within the federal government and at our borders.”
Joining Texas in the lawsuit are the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and West Virginia.