Beginning Wednesday, Attorney General Ken Paxton along with attorneys general from six other states, will present their case against DACA before U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, in Houston.
DACA is the program created by executive order that dates back to the Obama administration – it shields some immigrants from deportation because they were brought into the country illegally when they were children. The rationale for the program is that they came to the U.S. through no fault of their own.
But Texas never really liked the way the program came about, and it sued the federal government. Even after a change of administration in Washington, the suit continues, as does DACA, despite President Donald Trump’s attempts to end the program.
Professor Geoffrey Hoffman is director the University of Houston’s Immigration Clinic. He says Texas takes the position that the Trump administration’s rescission of the DACA program is lawful, and should be upheld. Hoffman says that if Texas and the other states win their case and the judge grants an injunction, the ruling would be in conflict with other district courts that have upheld DACA since Trump tried to rescind it.
“We would be very, very murky waters,” he says.
Hoffman expects DACA to end up at the Supreme Court. Until then, though, conflicting court rulings will cause problems.
“It’s going to set up a situation of what we call in the law ‘dueling injunctions,’ where you have injunctions from some district courts that would be at odds with what might be put in place here in Houston,” Hoffman says. “And that’s a very strange and difficult situation to be in, because the parties don’t know which injunction to follow.”
Hoffman says he thinks the Supreme Court “will follow the law, and also find that the Administrative Procedure Act needs to be followed, and ultimately uphold the DACA program.”
Written by Shelly Brisbin.