States Challenging DACA Seek Final Ruling

By Laura D. Francis

Texas and more than a half-dozen other states suing the Department of Homeland Security over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are looking for a final ruling from the court rather than appealing an earlier decision against temporarily halting it.

Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in late August declined the states’ request to put a hold on the program while the lawsuit goes forward. But the judge did suspend court proceedings to give the states a chance to appeal that decision.

In a Sept. 12 court filing, the states said they’d rather go forward in federal district court so they can get a final ruling that puts an end to DACA once and for all.

The Obama-era program remains in effect despite the Trump administration’s decision to end it more than a year ago. Three federal judges have issued orders that the DHS continue to accept renewal applications while they decide DACA recipients’ challenges to the end of the program.

The lawsuit before Hanen challenges the legality of the program as a whole. A finding that DACA is illegal or unconstitutional is likely to put the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case is Texas v. United States, S.D. Tex., No. 1:18-cv-00068, motion to lift stay filed 9/12/18.