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Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
DACA is facing a serious threat. Many people are unaware of the fact that there was a Texas-led lawsuit against the current administration on May 1 to end the program. Support of this lawsuit comes from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, West Virginia, and governors from Maine and Mississippi. The claim was presented by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
People who oppose DACA believe that it is unconstitutional and that the Southern District Court of Texas (and others) should be able to invalidate and end existing permits. Their hope is that the entire DACA program will be phased out within a couple years. As of a couple weeks ago, it turns out (perhaps not surprisingly) that the president and his Justice Department happen to agree with their claim.
It seems Mr. Paxton and his coalition of other states have learned a trick from their past success of blocking the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) policy. It made its way to the Supreme Court where it remained gridlocked at a 4-4 vote under Obama, due to the empty seat that was forced to be left open after the death of Justice Scalia. Ultimately, Trump acted last year to dismantle the program before it barely got a chance to go into effect.
Now, it appears Paxton and other agreeing states are simply implementing this strategy or something similar again. If they can just challenge the policy against the federal government, they can simply take the case to the Supreme Court if fellow federal courts challenge their cause. Since DOJ and supporters have shared that they also want DACA to end, it seems likely that his newly appointed judge, Justice Gorsuch, will likely rule in favor of the plaintiff.
The policy, which started under Obama, has protected child immigrants that were illegally brought to this country, and it has helped almost one million children who have grown to know America as their home. It only applies to children that met important qualifications, such as having no felony charges, attending school, and arriving before the deadline of 2007. It expires, so renewal is required. Now, it looks like the “Dreamers” could be back on the chopping block within only a few weeks. At this point, there are two other federal courts standing in the way of the uprooting and deporting of hundreds of thousands of lives.
If this case is carried out as plaintiffs hope, it will not matter if individuals have established a life here over the last decade or more, and it also won’t matter if they are kind, loving and otherwise law-abiding members of American society. The only concern will be if a person entered illegally or not, regardless of whether it was their own personal choice to enter the country. Here are some of the changes to expect:
Truly, all Americans will be affected, not just Dreamers and their families. The Washington Post has shared a statement from the Center for American Progress and Fwd.us. that the U.S. economy would lose billions of dollars due to job losses, loss of taxes, and retraining.
So far, many DACA recipients have looked into citizenship and many are aware that there is no clear way to apply for a green card after having resided in the United States for such an extended amount of time. Furthermore, not every Dreamer has the same backstory, so this also tends to make immigration even more complex and difficult than it already is. Much of the time, it can seem as though applicants continuously run into one roadblock after another. Regardless, it is no longer recommended for Dreamers to simply wait and see. Contact an immigration lawyer now, so that you or loved ones will be protected no matter what the outcome is for DACA.