Today, Houston Chronicle’s editorial board scorches Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for his latest attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with a lawsuit that targets 800,000 Dreamers, including 100,000 Texans.
According to Mario Carrillo, America’s Voice Texas Director,
“Ken Paxton’s latest attacks on Dreamers prove just how far he’s willing to go to make Texas the least welcoming state in our country. We were once the first state to pass in-state tuition and state aid for Dreamers, but now Paxton seems content to play politics and endanger the futures of hundreds of thousands of young people who have made countless contributions to Texas and to our country. His attacks against young immigrants go against what the majority of Americans, even Republicans, want. Instead of leading on this issue, Paxton wastes taxpayer money and stalls Texas’ progress just to score political points. The immigrant community and its allies will continue to fight back.”
This editorial comes on the heels of MALDEF’s motion, filed on behalf of 22 Dreamers, to allow DACA-recipients stories, fears and futures to be considered in the lawsuit.
Read the entire editorial “Paxton’s DACA lawsuit strays from Texas Republican mainstream,” excerpted below, online here.
[The lawsuit] is a move that has even perplexed other Texas Republicans.
“I honestly don’t understand what the state is asking for,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said Friday in Dallas.
When you’ve lost Cornyn, you’ve lost mainstream Republicans.
The courts are in the process of settling whether the Trump administration acted legally in repealing DACA. The ultimate decision likely will come from the U.S. Supreme Court. Paxton and the other attorneys general could have been content to let the current court process play out, but weren’t.
Paxton’s legal decision to file a lawsuit in the midst of other lawsuits around DACA is a waste of taxpayer resources. But it’s showing the Republican base that he’s tough on immigration, which is the main point.
The suit essentially seeks to end the DACA program in two years. If DACA were to end without something like it in its place, the results would be disastrous for Texas. More than 100,000 people entering the prime of their working lives would suddenly be thrust into limbo.
We have said repeatedly that the best course of action is for Congress to pass legislation that permanently normalizes the status of people who were brought to the country illegally through no fault of their own. Trump and other Republicans have said they support such an approach, but their actions belie their words. They see DACA, at best, as a way to leverage other immigration policy goals.
Democrats also say they back legislation to permanently protect the so-called Dreamers, but their legislative leaders are willing to wait to see what the courts will decide. They may come to regret that approach.
We’re sure Paxton’s feeling better about himself these days. The lawsuit gets his name and immigration in the same sentence. The attorney general also finally gets headlines that aren’t related to his ongoing securities fraud case. But pursuing a lawsuit that is clearly bad for Texas, and wasteful to boot, is nothing to feel good about.