Republican State AGs Push to End DACA

Attorneys general from Texas and nine other Republican-led states sent a letter last week threatening to sue the Trump administration over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, The Texas Tribune reported.

The letter asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind the Obama administration's June 2012 memorandum that created the program, which allows immigrants who illegally entered the country before they were 16 to remain in the United States on two-year renewable terms. The attorneys general called on the federal government to phase DACA out gradually by ceasing to accept new enrollees or to renew existing applications—a decision that would leave many 'Dreamers' vulnerable to deportation.

The 10 attorneys general that sent the letter threatening to sue over DACA were all part of a 26-state coalition that sued over another Obama-era program known as DAPA, which would have extended DACA-like protections to parents of American citizens and permanent residents, Inside Higher Ed reported. The Trump administration earlier this month rescinded the DAPA program, which was blocked by court order from ever going into this effect, saying there was "no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy."

In rescinding DAPA, however, the Department of Homeland Security clarified that current beneficiaries of DACA will continue to be eligible to seek a two-year extension of their status upon expiration and that “no work permits will be terminated prior to their current expiration dates.”

In the letter to Attorney General Sessions, the 10 state attorneys general said that if the administration refuses to phase out the program, which they describe as "unlawful" in that it "unilaterally confers eligibility for work authorization and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress," they will amend their lawsuit against DAPA to challenge the DACA program as well.


Related Links

The Texas Tribune

Inside Higher Ed