DOJ not defending DACA in lawsuit brought by Texas

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The Justice Department said Friday in a legal filing that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful, as the government weighs a legal challenge brought against the program by Texas and six other states.

Attorneys in their filings sided with Texas and the other states in calling the program, which protects certain immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation, “an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws,” according to CNN.


The lawsuit, filed last month by Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia, seeks an injunction to allow states to “immediately rescind and cancel all DACA permits currently in existence because they are unlawful,” The New York Times reported.

States also requested in the suit that the court prevent the U.S. government “from issuing or renewing DACA permits in the future, effectively phasing out the program within two years.”

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of the DACA program last year, but that decision has since been blocked from being implemented by several court rulings.

Justice Department attorneys have asked the court to delay the states’ injunction for two weeks in order to allow the agency to seek emergency relief from those rulings, according to the Times.

“A stay would facilitate the orderly resolution of the litigation over the DACA policy,” attorneys wrote in the court filings.

Congress and Trump have battled over DACA protections and funding for his signature border wall proposal for months, but House Republicans moved this week to force a vote on a number of immigration proposals, forcing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to vow to see a compromise bill make it to the House floor.

“The next step is to start putting pen to paper and get legislation to the floor,” the Wisconsin Republican told reporters on Thursday.

Tags DACA Donald Trump Immigration Jeff Sessions Justice Department Paul Ryan Texas undocumented immigrants

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