AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today released the following statement after a federal court found the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is likely unlawful and the Plaintiff States are irreparably harmed.  The Court confirmed that Texas is likely to ultimately win the case: “[T]he Plaintiff States have shown a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program is contrary to the Administrative Procedure Act[.]  The Court also found that the Plaintiff States had made a clear showing of irreparable injury.”  The Court only declined to issue a preliminary injunction of the unlawful DACA program because of the timing of the lawsuit. 

“We’re now very confident that DACA will soon meet the same fate as the Obama-era Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, which the courts blocked after I led another state coalition challenging its constitutionality,” Attorney General Paxton said. “President Obama used DACA to rewrite federal law without congressional approval. Our lawsuit is vital to restoring the rule of law to our nation’s immigration system. The debate over DACA as policy is a question for lawmakers, and any solution must come from Congress, as the Constitution requires.”

The Court confirmed that General Paxton’s legal contentions regarding DACA are correct.

In May, Attorney General Paxton led a coalition that now represents 10 states in a lawsuit against the federal government to end DACA, which granted lawful presence and work permits to nearly one million unlawfully present aliens without any authority from Congress. The lawsuit is forward looking and does not ask the federal government to remove any alien currently covered by DACA, nor does it ask the Trump administration to rescind DACA permits that have already been issued.

During a district court hearing earlier this month, lawyers from the attorney general’s office argued that DACA is as legally flawed as DAPA, which was intended to grant lawful presence to more than four million unlawfully present aliens. Attorney General Paxton led a successful multistate coalition all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop DAPA.

Last September, President Trump agreed to phase out DACA by March 5 of this year after Attorney General Paxton led a 10-state coalition requesting he do so or face a court challenge. But a ruling this year by a U.S. District Court in California blocked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from cancelling DACA. Similar decisions were issued by district courts in New York and Washington, D.C.

Texas is joined in the DACA lawsuit by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia, along with the governors of Maine and Mississippi.

View a copy of today’s ruling

View a copy of the lawsuit

View a copy of the motion seeking a nationwide injunction