May 1 (UPI) — A coalition of seven states filed a lawsuit against the federal government Tuesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia filed the suit saying the Obama-era program, which protects hundreds of thousands of children of undocumented immigrants from deportation, is unconstitutional.
“Our lawsuit is about the rule of law, not the wisdom of any particular immigration policy,” Paxton said. “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 lawsuit urges the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to declare DACA unlawful and stop the federal government from issuing or renewing any DACA permits in the future. It doesn’t request the federal government remove any DACA recipients or rescind previously issued DACA permits.
Last week Judge John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the Department of Homeland Security to resume accepting DACA applications if the agency was unable to provide a legal reason to end the program within 90 days.
Two other federal judges, in New York and California, previously blocked President Donald Trump’s efforts to end DACA on the principle his administration hadn’t offered legally adequate reasons to rescind the program.
The Mexican American Legislative Caucus condemned the lawsuit as a misuse of taxpayer money.
“Instead of wasting taxpayer funds to pick on these Americans without status, the attorney general should join the bipartisan chorus calling on Congress to fix a broken immigration system that denies these kids their rightful place at the American table,” the caucus wrote on Twitter.
Texas state Sen. José Menéndez, a Democrat, also issued a statement defending DACA recipients.
“It has been widely accepted that children who are covered under DACA who are brought to this country as children through no fault of their own have done well in our educational settings, have done well in the workforce, have served our nation’s armed forces with distinction,” he said.