Supporters of DACA, a program that grants temporary protection to young immigrants who were illegally brought to the United States as children, suffered a setback last week after a ruling by a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, that puts more pressure on President Donald Trump to decide the program’s fate.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen preserved the path for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to challenge the legality of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program created by a 2012 executive order by then-President Barack Obama. An estimated 800,000 people have received its benefits since its inception.
In July, Paxton led a 10-state coalition demanding that the federal government to rescind DACA by Sept. 5 or face a lawsuit.
Hanen granted Texas’ request to delay any further proceedings in his court—where Paxton pledged to challenge the program—until after the coalition’s deadline for the federal government to act.
Hansen’s decision protects that timetable and puts the decision squarely in Trump’s hands.
Dismissing the case would make it more difficult for Paxton to challenge the original DACA program because rather than tacking the complaint onto an existing case, it would require him to file a new case and potentially land in front of a judge who was less favorable to the state than Hanen.
But Hanen’s decision did away with any hope of that and put the decision squarely in Trump’s hands.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to repeal that executive order as part of a widespread immigration crackdown. Since taking office, Trump has said his administration will develop a plan for the young immigrants, but has yet to act.
A version of this article appeared in the August 23, 2017 edition of Education Week as Federal Ruling Keeps Lawsuit Against Deferred-Action Program Alive