Texas used to sue the Obama administration frequently – usually objecting to federal regulations. Now, Texas, along with several other states, is suing members of the Trump administration over DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. A Washington D.C. district court has ordered that DACA remain in effect to protect young, undocumented immigrants against being deported to their home countries.
But the states that are suing and the administration are on the same side – both want to end the DACA program.
Josh Blackman, an associate professor of law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, says the goal of the suit is to find a court that will declare DACA unlawful, or that will allow President Donald Trump to rescind the program.
“[Texas and the other states] are arguing that it doesn’t matter whether Trump had the authority to rescind the policy, because the policy itself was illegal in the first place,” Blackman says.
Blackman says the DACA case is really about the separation of powers and the rule of law. And, he says, Texas has prevailed before on the question of whether the president, Obama in that case, could grant work authorizations to Americans by executive order. That 2012 case concerned DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.
Blackman says the new case doesn’t affect the status of current DACA recipients.
“Texas is not asking the court to revoke anyone’s DACA applications. They’re not asking anyone to be deported or thrown out,” he says. “But if this lawsuit is successful, that would mean that renewals would not be processed anymore.”
Blackman says he thinks the issue should be resolved by Congress.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.