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10 State Attorneys Generals Threaten to Sue Trump Administration over DACA
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Summary: Texas’ attorneys general along with nine other officials threaten to sue Donald Trump if DACA is not terminated. 

On Thursday, ten state attorneys generals sent a letter to President Donald Trump’s administration, threatening to sue if he didn’t “phase out” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.


DACA allows more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants to obtain renewable work permits and protections against deportation. Many of those in the program arrived in the United States as children and are now Americanized and attending college.

The letter was sent to U.S. Attorneys General Jeff Sessions. The state attorneys generals said that the “unlawful” program was not authorized by Congress, and that they planned to amend their previous lawsuit regarding DAPA to include the DACA program.

DAPA refers to the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, which was designed to grant deferred action status to certain illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2010.

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Twenty-six states created a coalition to sue the federal government over DAPA, which is similar to DACA but applies to the parents of American citizens and permanent residents. Earlier this month, the Trump administration rescinded the DAPA program, which had been blocked by court order from ever seeing fruition.

Thomas A. Saenz, president of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund told Inside Higher Ed that he condemned the latest “xenophobic” letter from the attorneys generals and he urged Trump not to give in to their demands.

“MALDEF urges the president not to cave in to the toothless threat in today’s Texas letter,” Saenz said. “Presidential authority does constitutionally extend to protecting DACA recipients, whom the president has repeatedly declared worthy of protection. We urge the president to fight to vindicate that authority.”

During his time as president, Trump has kept his promise to be tough on illegal immigrants. He signed an executive order to ban certain travelers from six Muslim-majority countries, and recently, he has endorsed the passing of Kate’s Law, which increases penalties on illegal immigrants with criminal records.

While campaigning for president, Trump said he would “immediately terminate” DACA, but since the election, he has appeared to be on the fence regarding whether or not to keep it going. Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security said that the program is “under review.”

The recent letter was spearheaded by Texas’s Ken Paxton who is joined by attorneys generals from Kansas, Nebraska, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, West Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

In Paxton’s home state, more than 124,000 could be affected, according to The Houston Press. 

Efrén C. Olivares, the racial and economic justice director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, told the publication that Paxton’s letter was “misguided.”

“For years, our attorney general has pursued a misguided agenda to upend the lives of millions of immigrants in Texas, including those who were brought to this country as young children and call Texas home,” Olivares said. “Rather than looking out for the well-being of all people in Texas, we are disappointed to see the attorney general focus his energy on attacking immigrant youth.”

Texas Civil Rights Project said that it is pursuing legal options to challenge Paxton should the government halt the DACA program.

What do you think of DACA and DAPA? Let us know in the comments below.


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