Texas to Challenge DACA in Federal Court

A coalition of businesses, including construction firms, recently submitted a brief to a federal court in Houston claiming that ending DACA could result in a loss of $6 billion to Texas’ annual GDP. Photo: Max Pixel

by Eric Galatas

HOUSTON – Texas “Dreamers,” young people brought into the U.S. when they were small children, are bracing for the next legal hurdle facing the Deferred Act for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

On Wednesday, a federal court in Houston will hear arguments by Texas and six other states seeking an injunction to end the program.

Marielena Hincapie, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center says so far federal courts have sided with Dreamers since the Trump administration moved to end DACA last year.

“After losing in court after court and failing to get what they want through the proper channels, the Trump administration, Texas, and a dwindling handful of states are attempting an end-run in the courts to shut down DACA applications,” she explains.

Last week, a D.C. federal court ruled that the Trump administration must resume DACA, and called the decision to end the program “arbitrary and capricious.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed for an injunction in May to end DACA, and argues the program is unconstitutional because the Obama administration’s executive order changed federal law without congressional approval.

Donald Verrilli, a former U.S. Solicitor General under President Barack Obama, says since the states involved in Wednesday’s hearing waited six years after DACA’s implementation to file for an injunction, they could have a hard time making the case they’re subject to immediate and irreparable injury.

“It’s very hard to see that as anything other than a misuse of the judicial process in order to try to achieve policy objectives,” he says.

Greisa Martinez, the Deputy Executive Director of the immigrant youth group, United We Dream, says regardless of the outcome of Wednesday’s hearing, her group and others will continue to work to protect people from being separated from the only communities they have ever known.

“We will not be used as bargaining chips in Trump’s cruel strategy to detain and deport millions of our families and friends,” she states. “In the face of uncertainty and danger, immigrant youth and our allies are determined to live unafraid and to continue our fight to defend our families.”

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