On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration announces the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, which allows undocumented young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to temporarily remain in the U.S. and obtain work visas for two years at a time.
State of Texas v. United States
June 2017 – Ongoing
June 29, 2017: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine states involved in a 2015 lawsuit that ended the initiative of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and an accompanying expansion of DACA 2012 threaten to amend the lawsuit to challenge DACA 2012 if the initiative is not rescinded by September 5. The states’ request is at odds with previous assertions throughout the DAPA case that they were not challenging the original DACA initiative.
September 5, 2017: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA. The government sets an arbitrary one-month deadline to cease accepting new DACA applications and a six-month deadline – March 5, 2018 – to stop processing DACA renewal requests. The move sets off a series of lawsuits, including Regents of the University of California v. Department of Homeland Security, Batalla Vidal v. United States, and State of New York v. Trump, that result in temporary injunctions to keep DACA alive, though limited to renewals.
May 1, 2018: Seven states, led by Texas, file a lawsuit, Texas v. United States, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas challenging DACA. The case comes nearly six years after the initiative was put in place. The court transfers the case to U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen.
May 8, 2018: MALDEF files a motion for intervention in Texas v. United States on behalf of 22 DACA recipients who argue that they would be inadequately represented by the Trump administration officials named as defendants in the litigation.
May 15, 2018: Judge Hanen grants MALDEF’s motion to intervene in Texas v. United States on behalf of 22 DACA recipients who argued that they would be inadequately represented by the Trump administration, given the administration’s public opposition to DACA.
June 25, 2018: A federal court in Brownsville, Texas grants a request filed by the State of New Jersey to intervene in Texas v. United States.
August 8, 2018: Judge Hanen holds a hearing in Texas v. United States to consider a request by Texas for a preliminary injunction to suspend renewals of DACA. MALDEF presents oral argument at the hearing on behalf of the 22 defendant-interveners defending the DACA initiative.
August 31, 2018: Judge Hanen denies Texas’ request for an injunction, mainly because the states waited so long after 2012 to file their challenge.
August 28, 2019: Two months after the United States Supreme Court agrees to hear three DACA rescission cases filed elsewhere, the State of New Jersey asks Judge Hanen to stay Texas v. United States pending a decision from the Supreme Court.
September 26, 2019: MALDEF files an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of its clients — nearly two dozen DACA recipients who intervened to defend the initiative against Texas and other states. The brief asks the Supreme Court to consider new evidence based on documents and depositions in the Texas lawsuit that demonstrate that DACA is discretionary, and which contradict the Trump administration’s stated reason for shutting down DACA. State of New Jersey joins the brief.
October 1, 2019: MALDEF files a motion asking Judge Hanen to vacate a summary judgment hearing and to postpone other deadlines in the case in order to allow time to brief additional evidence developed in discovery.
October 8, 2019: Judge Hanen hears oral argument on both New Jersey and MALDEF’s requests to the court.
November 22, 2019: Judge Hanen grants New Jersey’s motion to stay Texas v. United States until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling. He denies MALDEF’s motion requesting delay as moot because his stay order has already granted the requested relief.
November 6, 2020: Nearly five months after the U.S. Supreme Court rejects the Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA, MALDEF and other interveners file a motion seeking summary judgment and opposing a multi-state request for summary judgment in Texas v. United States.
November 9, 2020: Judge Hanen sets a Dec. 22, 2020 hearing for oral argument on the requests for summary judgment in Texas v. United States.
December 22, 2020: Judge Hanen hears oral argument on competing motions for summary judgment to end the case before going to trial. The states argue that DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act and that the president exceeded his constitutional authority in creating the initiative. MALDEF attorneys argue that the DACA memo was a lawful exercise of presidential discretion and ask the judge to dismiss the case because the states have failed to show injury resulting from DACA’s implementation. MALDEF also argues that the court should deny the states’ request for summary judgment because a trial is necessary to resolve disputed facts in the case.
January 20, 2021: Joseph R. Biden is sworn in as president, and signs a memorandum ordering the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to “preserve” and “fortify” DACA.
January 21, 2021: MALDEF attorneys file a letter with Judge Hanen requesting a status conference to discuss the Biden administration’s DACA memo that indicates the federal government will “shortly both be taking substantive steps relating to the DACA memorandum and shifting their posture with respect to Plaintiffs’ claims.”
January 22, 2021: The Biden administration files a response in support of MALDEF’s letter, noting that the new DACA memo may “impact the substantive and procedural aspects of this litigation”
January 26, 2021: In response to MALDEF’s and the Justice Department’s request for a status conference, the plaintiff states ask the court for a final ruling on the merits of the case.
March 30, 2021: Judge Hanen holds a status hearing so that attorneys with MALDEF, DOJ and Texas can discuss how the Biden memo instructing the DHS to “preserve and fortify DACA” may affect the case. The court requests both sides to submit briefs on why the court should defer a ruling while legislation is pending in Congress. During the hearing, attorneys for Texas ask Hanen to find DACA unlawful.
April 9, 2021: Briefs are submitted to the court by all parties in response to Judge Hanen’s request.
July 16, 2021: Judge Hanen rules that DACA is unlawful, but allows it to continue for current recipients. The ruling permits the processing of DACA renewals but does not allow for the processing of new applications.
September 10, 2021: MALDEF files a notice of appeal to indicate that it will challenge Judge Hanen’s ruling before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Biden administration also files a notice of appeal.
October 4, 2021: The Biden administration asks the Fifth Circuit to stay the proceedings while DHS moves through the rulemaking process on the initiative.
October 15, 2021: The Fifth Circuit denies the federal government’s request to delay briefing while the regulatory process is concluded. The appeal will move forward with briefing, to be followed by oral argument.
December 8, 2021: MALDEF files opening brief in the Fifth Circuit.
February 7, 2022: Texas and the other states file their response brief in the Fifth Circuit
May 27, 2022: The Fifth Circuit schedules oral argument before the three-judge panel for July 6 in New Orleans.