LOS ANGELES, CA – The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that the Trump Administration will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, caving in to a threat by 10 states, led by Texas, that they would sue the federal government if DACA was allowed to continue.
The Justice Department’s announcement does permit renewals of DACA that will expire within the next six months, but otherwise closes the program to new applications and potentially leaves hundreds of thousands of people under risk of deportation as the Trump Administration steps up its attacks on immigrant communities. While immigrants already covered by DACA will not immediately see their deferred action changed, the decision to rescind the 2012 Obama-administration initiative means the government will no longer grant temporary work permits to immigrants brought to this country by their undocumented parents as children.
Texas has also sought to amend a 2015 lawsuit against the DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) initiative to include a challenge to DACA. DAPA, a 2014 Obama-administration initiative, was barred from implementation by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen while the lawsuit, Texas v. United States, which included 25 others states as plaintiffs, moved forward.
MALDEF intervened in the case on behalf of three Texas women who would have benefitted from DAPA and argued the case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court split 4-4, leaving the preliminary injunction issued by Judge Hanen in place.
After Texas moved to attach the DACA challenge to Texas v. United States, MALDEF moved to have the case thrown out on the grounds that the original lawsuit was not related to DACA and that the case was rendered moot when the Trump administration officially rescinded DAPA in June.
Please attribute the following statement to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):
“Acting on tainted and biased ‘legal’ advice, Donald Trump caved to the overstated demands of the Texas attorney general and a dwindling number of other states. The fecklessness of the Trump White House and the Sessions Justice Department now endangers countless families, employers, and communities across the country. The Congress must act to take the long-overdue legislative steps necessary to protect a national asset – millions of home-grown, educated, and courageous young people ready to continue to build our economy and community. Congressional failure to act is not an acceptable outcome politically or morally. The state of Texas and the eight other states that maintained their disingenuous threat to sue must also be held accountable for their despicable role in this body blow to the nation.”
Read a brief history of DACA here.