Immigration

Texas AG Paxton Joins Trump in DACA Supreme Court Fight

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton continues to do everything in his power to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, which allows undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation.

Thursday afternoon, Paxton announced he's leading a 10-state coalition against the program and in support of President Donald Trump's efforts to end it at the U.S. Supreme Court. Paxton already sued to stop the program himself earlier this year.

In his brief to the Supreme Court, Paxton argues that Trump should be allowed to phase out DACA unilaterally, a position that's been rejected by multiple federal courts, leading to the expected Supreme Court showdown over the program.

“The Department of Justice and the Courts have all indicated that DACA was an illegal program, so it is absurd to claim the president must go through a lengthy rule-making process in order to stop violating the law." — Ken Paxton

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“The Trump administration’s decision to wind down DACA is justified because DACA is just as legally flawed as the Obama-era Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, which was stopped after Texas led a multi-state coalition challenge all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Paxton said Thursday, referring to his successful efforts to end a program that granted protections similar to those given to DACA recipients to their parents.

Allowing DACA, a program implemented by President Barack Obama, to remain in place gives the president too much power over the country's immigration laws, Paxton argues. 

“The Department of Justice and the courts have all indicated that DACA was an illegal program, so it is absurd to claim the president must go through a lengthy rule-making process in order to stop violating the law," Paxton said. "Activist federal court judges should not stand in the way of President Trump fulfilling his constitutional duty. Left intact, DACA sets a dangerous precedent by giving the executive branch the sweeping authority to change our nation’s immigration laws to suit a president’s own policy preferences.”

Paxton's DACA opposition stands in stark contrast to the preferences of a vast majority of Texans, including a majority of Texas Republicans.

According to a poll from Quinnipiac University this summer, 55 percent of self-identified Texas Republicans support allowing DACA recipients to stay in the United States with a path to citizenship. Among all Texans, that number increases to 71 percent.

About 120,000 Texas residents are protected from deportation by DACA. According to a report from the Texas Business Association, Texas could lose as much as $6 billion in annual economic activity if Trump and Paxton successfully bring an end to the program.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young

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