On May 1, 2018 Texas and 6 other states filed a lawsuit in Judge Hanen’s court to end DACA, seeking a nationwide injunction against renewals. In a press release announcing the actions, Paxton defended the Trump Administration, blaming nationwide injunctions against the program’s rescission which allowed renewals to continue. This followed Paxton’s confirmation that he had coordinated with the Trump Administration to end the program.
- Paxton, who was indicted in 2015 on three felony counts of securities law violations, has led the charge nationally to end DACA and potentially expel 800,000 working immigrants nationally, and 125,000 in Texas.
- While Paxton has feigned a lack of interest in deporting current DACA recipients, he is aware that if the Administration were to end DACA, recipients would unquestionably be at immediate risk of deportation under the EOs stating that any undocumented immigrant is subject to arrest and removal.
- Paxton has been vocal about his opposition to every major component of the DACA program.
- In an effort to cover minimize fallout over several lawsuits challenging SB 4 Paxton filed a lawsuit the day Governor Abbott signed the law, requesting a federal court declare the new law constitutional.
- Paxton said he is “confident” that the state will prevail in a lawsuit against his new sanctuary city policy brought the city governments. Paxton thanked AG Sessions for allowing the Justice Department to help Texas in the case.
Attacks on DACA
- In June of 2017, Paxton lead 10 Republican state Attorneys General in threatening to amend their pending DAPA lawsuit to sue over DACA 2012, unless President Trump ends the program by September 5, 2017.
- Texas led the opposition against Obama’s 2014 immigration actions, which would have protected the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents from deportation and allowed them to work legally.
- In an op-ed for USA Today entitled: Donald Trump Should Keep his Promise to Dump DACA, Paxton again threatened the President over his decision to keep the program in place: “We’ve given the Trump Administration until September 5 to agree to phase out DACA. Otherwise, our lawsuit challenging unlawful deferred-action programs currently pending in district court will be amended to challenge the renewal or issuance of any new DACA permits in the future.”
- And in a letter to the editor addressed to the WSJ Paxton attempted to defend his vindictive attack on DACA by drawing comparisons between DACA 2012 and DAPA: “DACA is exactly like DAPA and needs to be phased out to preserve the rule of law and constitutional separation of powers.”
- As the Center for New Community noted in an April 2016 report, Ken Paxton and Greg Abbott worked closely with anti-immigrant groups while leveling a legal challenge against President Obama’s temporary deportation relief program DAPA. The anti-immigrant movement later confirmed its involvement in that legal challenge in June of 2016, after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed an injunction against the program to remain. IRLI, the legal arm of flagship anti-immigrant group FAIR, announced after that decision it had “advised the Texas Attorney-General’s office on key facets of the case.”