A ten-state coalition led by the Texas attorney general sent a letter to the Trump Administration asking for an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. The group threatened to sue if the federal government does not end the program.
DACA, put in place by an administrative action under the Obama Administration, granted temporary legal status and the right to work to millions of young people brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.
“We respectfully request that the Secretary of Homeland Security phase out the DACA program,” Texas Attorney General Paxton and the coalition wrote in a letter (attached below) to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Just like DAPA, DACA unilaterally confers eligibility for work authorization and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress.”
Paxton signed the letter along with the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Idaho, West Virginia, and the governor of Idaho.
The coalition of states urges the federal government to phase out the DACA program by rescinding the 2012 DACA memorandum. The states also request that no new permits be issued under the program and that existing permits not be renewed. They did not request the revocation of the existing permits, nor the deportation of any person covered by DACA.
The letter cites the ruling by Judge Andrew Hanen that blocked the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans after Texas and other states filed suit. Breitbart Texas reported Hanen issued a temporary ban on implementing the executive amnesty program in February 2015. An appellate court upheld Hanen’s order and the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, letting the lower court ruling stand.
Earlier this month, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly wiped out former-President Obama’s DAPA program, Breitbart News reported.
The coalition compared DACA and DAPA stating, “the Executive Branch does not have the unilateral power to confer lawful presence and work authorization on unlawfully present aliens simply because the Executive chooses not to remove them.”
“For these same reasons that DAPA and Expanded DACA’s unilateral Executive Branch conferral of eligibility for lawful presence and work authorization was unlawful, the original June 15, 2012 DACA memorandum is also unlawful,” the letter continues. “The original 2012 DACA program covers over one million otherwise unlawfully present aliens.”
After requesting that Secretary Kelly phase out the program, the letter states they will amend their original lawsuit to challenge “both the DACA program and the remaining Expanded DACA permits.”