The New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has affirmed that the President lacked the legal authority to institute the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program after the policy was challenged by a coalition led by Attorney General Ken Paxton.  

The Fifth Circuit’s ruling came after a district court previously recognized the unlawful nature of DACA, a program that allows certain illegal aliens the ability to lawfully stay in the United States, gain lawful employment, and receive Social Security and Medicare. 

This decision affirms the lower court’s ruling that the Obama Administration unlawfully created DACA, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Fifth Circuit also ruled that the Administration lacked the legal authority to create the policy in the first place, noting that “[t]here is no ‘clear congressional authorization’ for the power that DHS claims.” The ruling prohibits the federal government from enrolling any new illegal immigrants into the DACA program. 

“Only Congress has the ability to write our nation’s immigration laws, and I applaud the Fifth Circuit for affirming DACA as the unlawful executive action that it is,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The chaos at our southern border is bringing violence to our communities and costing Texans hundreds of millions of dollars. President Obama’s refusal to enforce immigration law was an offensive dereliction of duty then, just as President Biden’s refusal to help secure our border is now.”  

In recognizing Texas’s legal standing to bring the case, the court highlighted just how steep the costs of DACA are to the people of Texas: “Texas has satisfied the first standing requirement by demonstrating injury in fact . . . . Texas presented evidence that it spends millions of dollars providing these services to unauthorized aliens each year . . . . An expert for defendants estimated that DACA recipients overall impose a cost of more than $250,000,000 on Texas per year and another $533,000,000 annually in costs to local Texas communities.” 

To read the full ruling, click here