Federal Judge Refuses Texas Request To End DACA

by Bamidele Ogunberu Posted on September 1st, 2018

Houston, Texas, USA:  A federal judge, Andrew Hanen, today ruled the Trump administration must continue accepting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) renewals as he declined to issue a preliminary injunction in a case over the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The judge said the state had waited too long to file the suit and the results of ending the program now could harm the public.

The judge, however, did predict that a challenge to DACA will eventually be successful in front of the court, saying the program is likely illegal.

“The Court did not grant the preliminary injunction as it found that the States had delayed seeking this relief for years, that the balance of private interests fell in favor of the denial of the requested relief, and that implementing the relief at this point in time was contrary to the best interests of the public,” District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled.

“This Court found that injuries would occur to the Plaintiff States if the injunction was denied, but denied the injunction because it found that the injuries that would occur to the Government and the Defendant-Intervenors if the injunction were granted would be more profound and significant,” he added.

He went on to say that he thought DACA was “contrary to the Administrative Procedure Act.”

“Plaintiff States have shown a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals … program is contrary to the Administrative Procedure Act. … The court also found that the Plaintiff States had made a clear showing of irreparable injury,” Hanen said.

DACA is an Obama-era program that protects undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children from deportation.

Hanen is the third federal judge to prevent the end of the program since the Trump administration first rescinded it with a six-month delay last September.

Hanen has historically been opposed to programs like DACA, but this is the first time he’s ruled on such a program that is already in existence.

“Here, the egg has been scrambled,” Hanen wrote. “To try to put it back in the shell with only a preliminary injunction record, and perhaps at great risk to many, does not make sense nor serve the best interests of this country.”

Hanen stayed the case for 21 days, but left open the possibility to a hearing to extend the stay should any party want one.

The decision  was a blow to Texas and seven other states that hoped Hanen would find the program, known as DACA, as objectionable as he did another Obama program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.

“Today’s favorable ruling brings joy and relief to many young immigrants and their communities who have been waiting to hear whether DACA would be blocked,” said Karla Perez, a DACA recipient who had urged the court to let the program continue.

DACA allows children of illegal immigrants to remain in the United States if they were under 16 when their parents brought them to the country and if they arrived by 2007. Three years ago, Hanen had blocked DAPA, which was intended to allow parents who came to the United States to remain if they had U.S.-citizen children, ruling in an earlier lawsuit also initiated by Texas.

EARLIER : Texas Leads 7 States Lawsuit To End DACA

Houston, Texas, USA: Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, on Tuesday, filed a lawsuit to end DACA, on behalf of seven states that are traditionally Republican strongholds – Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina, West Virginia, Nebraska, and Louisiana.

The lawsuit does not ask the government to remove any immigrants currently in the country with DACA protections, but does ask that it stop issuing or renewing any DACA permits in the future.

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.”

Paxton said the lawsuit was filed Tuesday afternoon around 3 p.m. 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.

He 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 announcement comes exactly a week after a federal judge in Washington, D.C. ordered the Trump administration to continue the Obama-era immigration program and reopen it to new applicants. That was the third — and by far the strongest — rebuke of Trump’s efforts to rescind the program. Judges in California and New York had previously ordered the administration to renew work permits for immigrants enrolled in the program.

In March, a judge in Maryland came down on the other side of the issue, ruling that Trump has the authority to wind down the program.

DACA, a program created in 2012 by President Barack Obama, gives immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents as children renewable, two-year work permits and protection from deportation – allowing them to pursue educational and vocational goals in the country they grew up in.

There are more than 120000 DACA recipients  – often called Dreamers – in Texas.

After Texas and 25 other states sued to end the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program — a similar measure that protected nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation — the program was enjoined and never went into effect.

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