Texas, joined by six other states, intends to sue the federal government to end, once and for all, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or “Dreamers” program, the Dallas Morning News is reporting.
Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and West Virginia join the Lone Star State in suing the federal government over the controversial program.
Begun during the Obama administration, DACA is intended to protect from deportation children who were brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents. Obama had tried in 2014 to expand the program to include some additional illegal immigrants, but the expansion was challenged in court and it never went through.
Meanwhile, what’s left of the program continues to remain intensely controversial. Donald Trump, for example, has made the program a focal point of his administration, in the context of a desired wider crackdown on illegal immigration, since the beginning. In September 2017, the Trump administration initiated plans to phase out portions of the Act; and as the Washington Post reported in April 2018, he continues to insist that the program is a front for wanton illegal immigration.
“A lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of DACA.”
However, Trump’s plan to phase out the program has been stalled by multiple legal battles.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) May 1, 2018
With the suit, filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the states challenge the federal government’s authority to allow illegal immigrants to become legal immigrants by virtue of having been brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
“Our lawsuit is about the rule of law, not the wisdom of any particular immigration policy.”
Furthermore, Paxton says, the program puts too much power in the office of the president.
“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.”
In South Carolina, Attorney General Alan Wilson, who attached his state to the lawsuit, says he doesn’t mean any ill will to the children who will be affected by the end of DACA. But he, like Paxton, says the rule of law must be honored at all costs, according to States Top Leading News.
“We don’t want to hurt any of these children, but this lawsuit is not about immigration policy. We’re required to uphold the rule of law.”
Late Tuesday, the case was assigned to Judge Andrew Hanen, according to CNN. Hanen has ruled on DACA-related lawsuits in the past, and is seen as “unfriendly” to the legislation.