Paxton Threatens to Sue Over DACA If Trump Does Not Rescind Program

AUSTIN -- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and a 10-state coalition have threatened to sue the federal government over an Obama-era program that protects unauthorized immigrants if the program is not rescinded by September."We respectfully request that the Secretary of Homeland Security phase out the DACA program," Attorney General Paxton said in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday, using the acronym for the program. "Just like DAPA, DACA unilaterally confers eligibility for work authorization and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress."The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, was created by President Barack Obama in 2012. It gives unauthorized immigrants who came to the country as children a temporary, two-year relief from deportation and allows them to work legally in the country.In 2014, the Obama administration attempted to expand the program and extend the protections to the unauthorized immigrants who were parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. That measure was blocked by federal district courts. In a major blow to Obama last year, the U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 on the issue, allowing the decisions by lower courts to stand and preventing the expanded programs from being implemented. In June, the Trump administration rescinded parts of the DACA expansion and the program for unauthorized immigrant parents, commonly referred to as DAPA. But the initial 2012 program remained in tact to the chagrin of immigration hardliners and many Trump supporters. In his letter, Paxton gives the federal government a legal ultimatum."If, by September 5, 2017, the Executive Branch agrees to rescind the June 15, 2012 DACA memorandum and not to renew or issue any new DACA or Expanded DACA permits in the future, then the plaintiffs that successfully challenged DAPA and Expanded DACA will voluntarily dismiss their lawsuit currently pending in the Southern District of Texas," he wrote. "Otherwise, the complaint in that case will be amended to challenge both the DACA program and the remaining Expanded DACA permits."Paxton said this would not require Trump to immediately rescind any DACA permits that have already been issued, change immigration enforcement priorities or require the removal of any unauthorized immigrants.   Continue reading...

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