News Roundup: Ken Paxton Takes His Fight To End DACA To Court

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelAugust 7, 2018 1:35 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Texas will fight in a U.S. District Court on Wednesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading a 10-state coalition in a lawsuit against the federal government over this Obama-era program.

Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston and co-host of Houston Public Media’s Party Politics podcast, says this case is unique because the Trump administration wants to phase out DACA, too. Earlier this summer, the U.S. Justice Department said it agrees with Texas that the program should be terminated.

“It’s unusual also because you’ve had to have external groups step in to defend the program. So in this case MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, stepped into the case as a way to defend the DACA recipients,” Rottinghaus says.

Rottinghaus adds this fight over DACA is very similar to a lawsuit Texas won against the Obama administration, blocking the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, or DAPA. Then, the state argued the federal government overreached in creating DAPA.

“Now they’re trying to make the same argument stick for the DACA program,” Rottinghaus says. “Well, that’s the same kind of logic that the court will undertake when they hear these kinds of cases. So if the case makes it to the Supreme Court, it will be about the authority of the president more than about the issue of immigration but of course, DACA will be wrapped up in whatever conclusion they come to.”

Wednesday’s hearing is happening less than three months before the November election. Rottinghaus explains this lawsuit could have political advantages for Republicans like Paxton.

“So for Republicans, they get to play with two issues that sit well with Republican voters. Immigration always riles up the Republican base and suing the federal government – that’s long thought to be infringing on the rights of Texas is seen as a show of strength,” he says.

Under DACA, about 700,000 young adults brought to the U.S. as children before 2012 are protected from deportation and given work permits that must be renewed every two years. There are more than 120-thousand DACA recipients in Texas.

The Texas A&M Forest Service said Monday that it has helped battle 57 fires over the last week or so.

Erin O’Connor is the agency’s public information officer.

She says with the hot and dry conditions, Texans should take steps to avoid outdoor activities that can cause sparks.

“So, if you’re pulling a trailer, or a boat, something with chains, just make sure that they’re not dragging, because those sparks that the chains throw can create a wildfire on the side of the road. If you are debris burning make sure your county is not in a burn ban,” O’Connor says.

O’Connor adds it’s a good idea to avoid parking on dry grass.

One of the most pet-friendly cities in the country is in Texas, according to a report from the personal finance site, WalletHub, that looked at 24 metrics to determine the 100 best cities for pets – and of course their owners. Those factors included the number of pet businesses per capita and a city’s walkability. Austin was the highest ranked city in the state at number four. Plano was the next highest Texas city on the list at 15th. Other cities, such as Corpus Christi, ranked 55th, but it ranked third when it came to which cities had the lowest cost veterinary services.