Texas Attorney General Hails Victory Over Unlawful Obama-Era Immigration Programs
AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today voluntarily dismissed a 2015 lawsuit against the federal government after the Trump administration phased out the unlawful Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA granted lawful presence and work permits to nearly one million unlawfully present aliens without congressional authorization.
On June 29, a 10-state coalition, led by Attorney General Paxton, informed the Trump administration it had until today to phase out DACA or it would amend the existing federal lawsuit which had challenged the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program.
“We dismissed our lawsuit after achieving victory on DACA and DAPA. Both programs originated from Obama-era executive action creating far-reaching, class-based ‘deferred action’ programs and granting lawful presence and attendant benefits to qualifying applicants, without congressional authorization,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Our lawsuit was always about the rule of law, not the wisdom of any particular immigration policy.”
Previously, Attorney General Paxton led a 26-state coalition all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the prior administration’s DAPA program.
“As President, my highest duty is to defend the American people and the Constitution of the United States of America. At the same time, I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.
The legislative branch, not the executive branch, writes these laws – this is the bedrock of our Constitutional system, which I took a solemn oath to preserve, protect, and defend.
In June of 2012, President Obama bypassed Congress to give work permits, social security numbers, and federal benefits to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants currently between the ages of 15 and 36. The typical recipients of this executive amnesty, known as DACA, are in their twenties. Legislation offering these same benefits had been introduced in Congress on numerous occasions and rejected each time.
In referencing the idea of creating new immigration rules unilaterally, President Obama admitted that “I can’t just do these things by myself” – and yet that is exactly what he did, making an end-run around Congress and violating the core tenets that sustain our Republic.
Officials from 10 States are suing over the program, requiring my Administration to make a decision regarding its legality. The Attorney General of the United States, the Attorneys General of many states, and virtually all other top legal experts have advised that the program is unlawful and unconstitutional and cannot be successfully defended in court.
There can be no path to principled immigration reform if the executive branch is able to rewrite or nullify federal laws at will.”