Following through on a months-old promise, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Tuesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, leading a seven-state coalition to fight an Obama-era immigration measure that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants nationwide from deportation, including more than 100,000 in Texas.
Paxton first threatened in June 2017 to sue over the program if President Donald Trump’s administration had not ended it by September. After a federal court’s ruling blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to end the program, Paxton wrote in January that he would consider filing suit if the program still stood in June.
“Our lawsuit is about the rule of law, not the wisdom of any particular immigration policy,” Paxton said in a press release. “Texas has argued for years that the federal executive branch lacks the power to unilaterally grant unlawfully present aliens lawful presence and work authorization.”
The presidential power to establish a program like DACA sets a dangerous precedent, Paxton warned, that could allow executives to “ignore the will of the people” and set their own policies on a long list of policy points. Paxton also criticized “activist judges” in federal court for keeping in place an “unconstitutional” law.
The 137-page lawsuit does not ask the government to remove any immigrants currently in the U.S. with DACA protections, but does ask that it stop issuing or renewing any DACA permits in the future.
Paxton said the lawsuit was filed Tuesday afternoon around 3 p.m. in the Southern District of Texas, in the border town of Brownsville. Paxton’s office had informed the U.S. Department of Justice hours earlier that it planned to file suit.
Paxton said he wasn’t sure how the federal government would respond to the lawsuit, but insisted “it’s about the rule of law, and we assume always that President Trump is in support of the rule of law.”
The other states involved are Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2018/05/01/texas-and-six-other-states-sue-end-daca/. The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.