Attorney General Ken Paxton today led a multistate coalition in an amicus brief filed with the United States Supreme Court opposing the unlawful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and supporting the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the program. When created via executive memo in 2014, DACA unilaterally granted lawful presence and access to work permits to over 1.7 million unlawfully-present aliens in defiance of laws enacted by Congress.

“The DACA program was a lawless exercise of executive power, and the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA was absolutely necessary to uphold the rule of law. By creating DACA and DAPA, the Obama administration attempted to bypass Congress and unilaterally amend our immigration laws,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The President’s duty is to ensure that the law is faithfully executed, not to unilaterally re-write the law anytime the President disagrees with Congress’ decision.”  

The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that the power to establish when aliens are lawfully present is “entrusted exclusively to Congress.” Congress has never given the executive branch the ability to grant lawful presence to an entire class of aliens, let alone work authorization, health care, unemployment, and a pathway to citizenship.

The unlawful program also puts undue financial strain on states. Under DACA, states bear the cost of providing social services including healthcare, education, and law enforcement to non-citizens. Texas alone incurs more than $250,000,000 in total direct costs from DACA recipients each year.

Texas has a proven track record in protecting liberty and taking on abuse of federal power. When former President Obama sought to grant lawful presence to more than four million unlawfully present aliens, Attorney General Paxton led a 26-state coalition all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his unlawful immigration plan, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). President Trump revoked the 2014 Obama-era policy memo that created DAPA in June 2017 and announced his decision to phase out DACA in September 2017.

States joining Texas in the amicus brief are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.

To view today’s amicus brief, click here.