Leading a coalition of 13 states, Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to overturn a lower court ruling that prevents the Trump administration from phasing out the illegal Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in March. DACA granted lawful presence and work permits to nearly one million unlawfully-present aliens without congressional authorization. The program also provided a pathway to U.S. citizenship to thousands of individuals who entered the U.S. unlawfully, even though the Obama administration repeatedly promised that DACA would not confer citizenship.
Siding with the rule of law, President Trump agreed to phase out DACA after Attorney General Paxton led a 10-state coalition requesting that the Trump administration do so by Sept. 5, 2017 or face legal action. Earlier this month, a ruling by a U.S. District Court in California blocked the federal government from phasing-out DACA. The U.S. Department of Justice petitioned the high court to resolve the case quickly.
“Texas has successfully argued at all levels of the federal judiciary that the federal executive branch lacks the power to unilaterally grant lawful presence to unlawfully present aliens” Attorney General Paxton said. “Left intact, DACA would set a dangerous precedent by giving the executive branch sweeping authority to circumvent Congress and change our nation’s immigration laws. Today, consistent with the rule of law and the principle of separation of powers, Congress has an opportunity to act.”
In the brief, Attorney General Paxton informed the Supreme Court that Texas may file a lawsuit challenging the Obama-era memorandum that created DACA if litigation against the wind down drags on through June. “Without this court’s prompt intervention, the district court’s injunction could last for over a year – frustrating the very purpose of the executive’s decision here of promptly terminating disputes about the legality of a past policy by taking an undisputedly lawful course going forward,” the coalition wrote.
Previously, Attorney General Paxton led a 26-state coalition all the way to the Supreme Court to overturn the Obama administration’s unlawful immigration plan known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), which would have provided executive amnesty to five million unlawfully-present aliens.