President Donald Trump has cast his support behind a Texas-led lawsuit which aims to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Often referred to by its acronym, DACA, the initiative lent renewable residency and work permits to immigrants who arrived to the United States as children. Put into effect by Barack Obama, the program was heavily criticized by Trump in 2016.
Conservatives have long lambasted what they view as executive over-reach on the part of former President Obama.
While Trump formally rescinded DACA last September, a series of lawsuits and court-ordered injunctions prevented the program from shutting done fully. Earlier in August, a judge demanded that the government continue processing applications and granting permits to qualified immigrants.
Now, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wants to shut DACA back down—and he’s being supported by President Trump, whose relationship with ‘Dreamers’ has been tenuous at best.
“Ken just filed a very interesting lawsuit, which I think is going to be very successful,” Trump said on Thursday, speaking in typically hyperbolic speech. “I hope it’s going to be successful.”
Texas is being joined in litigation by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia. The suit’s been filed in the U.S. District Court based in the border-town of Brownsville, Texas.
Paxton says an initial hearing on Wednesday “went quite well” and seemed confident in his suit’s shot at success.
“We will see what the judge says,” Paxton said. “We know we are right on the law and right under the Constitution. We are confident that things are going to go on the right way.”
In a Wednesday opinion-editorial published on USA Today and other media outlets, Paxton questioned the legality of Barack Obama’s decision to create and enact DACA.
“I am president, I am not king,” the attorney general quotes Obama as saying. “I can’t do these things just by myself.”
But Paxton argues that that’s exactly what Obama did when he granted ‘legal status to a whole class of illegal aliens without congressional approval.” He recounts how he asked Trump to follow through with campaign promises to cut DACA in 2017, ultimately leading to the program’s dismissal.
However, Paxton doesn’t mention that he swayed Trump’s hand by threatening litigation. Texas set a September deadline to do away with DACA, despite the president’s initial reluctance to forsake Dreamers.
Trump reassured DACA beneficiaries throughout spring and summer that they could “rest easy,” claiming their future in the United States wasn’t in jeopardy. But advisers warned Trump that Paxton’s lawsuit had strong backing and could prevail in the case it went to court.
In his opinion-editorial, Paxton claims his latest lawsuit isn’t “about a particular policy, economic or otherwise, but about our very polity itself.”