U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled last Friday that the government will not be constrained to accept new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) requests.
One of Barack Obama’s most damaging acts during his last term was to implement DACA. Most constitutional experts agree he didn’t have the authority to implement that executive order because it changed existing immigration law. In effect, Obama negated a law enacted by Congress with the stroke of a pen. Since then, President Trump has met resistance from Federal District judges to repeal that order through his own executive action.
In April, Judge Bates ordered a restart of DACA by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) no later than August 23. At that time USCIS advised that restarting DACA would cause the agency to examine and process nearly 50,000 new DACA applications rather than focus on legal immigrant and guest worker applications.
The issue of DACA has been batted around the courts for the last year, leading to growing confusion of where the program is headed. Bates wrote in his opinion:
“Because that confusion would only be magnified if the court’s order regarding initial DACA applications were to take effect now and later be reversed on appeal, the court will grant a limited stay of its order and preserve the status quo pending appeal, as plaintiffs themselves suggest.”
Government officials had warned that in addition to the more than 100,000 new DACA applications, 30,000 advance parole requests would result should DACA be completely rebooted.
Along with putting a pause on the program, Bates also ordered a delay of providing special protections for individuals on DACA. A particularly troubling provision this halted is advanced parole that allowed recipients to travel outside the country and then re-enter without penalty. This often led to citizenship.
When Bates ruled last April that the Obama-era program protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation must stay in place, progressives hailed that decision as a major blow to President Trump.
The ruling, if it had stood, would have required the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to also accept applications from first-time applicants. Earlier nationwide injunctions had forced the administration to accept renewal applications from current DACA beneficiaries without including new applications.
This decision by Bates comes at a time when several states are debating whether they will completely remove DACA. Texas and six other states are in support of making DACA illegal.
Republican Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton argues that the implementation of DACA is federal overreach and imposes a financial burden on the states. The Dallas Morning News reported that Paxton said in a prepared statement:
“DACA is unconstitutional because it rewrote federal law over the objections of Congress … DACA represents a dangerous view of executive power, which would allow the president to unilaterally set aside any duly enacted law. It cannot be allowed to stand without doing serious harm to our Constitution. This lawsuit is vital to restoring the rule of law to our immigration system.”
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund is representing DACA recipients in the Texas case. A number of other immigration advocates say they are planning to ask the Texas courts to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the claim of irreparable damages is “invalid given that the program has stood for more than six years now and that DACA recipients contribute much more than they do harm.”
Though the suit was filed by the state of Texas against the Department of Homeland Security, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund is representing 22 DACA recipients who were allowed to challenge Homeland back in May shortly after Texas and other states filed the suit.
One of the reasons Bates reversal is so important is because other District Courts have issued injunctions and ordered the government to continue processing renewal applications for months.
Final briefs in the California and New York cases are due in October and attorneys are awaiting a decision from a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Should the Texas District Court rule DACA unconstitutional next month, that decision will more than likely fast-track the issue to the Supreme Court.
Progressives and the Democratic Party have sought to debunk President Trump’s warnings about unchecked immigration since he was elected. At least for now, one court has stood for reason. An already stressed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services cannot operate without reasonable relief.
~ Freedom New Report