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Texas attorney general leads threat of lawsuit over 'Dreamers' program

By Ed Adamczyk
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Thursday that he and and attorneys general of nine other states signed a letter threatening a lawsuit if the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program is not ended. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Thursday that he and and attorneys general of nine other states signed a letter threatening a lawsuit if the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program is not ended. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

June 30 (UPI) -- Texas' attorney general threatened a lawsuit if the Trump administration does not end a federal program allowing work permits to undocumented immigrants.

In a letter Thursday to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and co-signed by nine other state attorneys general, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton urged the administration of President Donald Trump to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. The letter called for action to stop enrolling new applicants and to gradually end the program; such an action would expose 788,000 people, known as "Dreamers," who arrived in the United States as children with their undocumented relatives, to deportation.

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President Barack Obama created DACA in 2012 in order to shield some 1.7 million people brought to the United States as children. In 2014, he sought to expand the program, but 26 states sued the federal government to block the expansion along with DAPA, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, which together would have protected 3.6 million people from deportation.

The U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked on the decision and left a preliminary injunction in place against the expanded version of DACA, but left the original version in place.

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DACA has remained in place in the Trump administration, and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has said no DACA deportations have occurred during his tenure.

The letter to Sessions offers to end the threat of a suit if Trump ends the DACA program. Earlier in June the Trump administration said it would review DACA.

The programs were established by executive order, and Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, said Paxton's letter reinforces the need for Congress to codify DACA and DAPA policies into law.

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"If you look at the facts, you find that DACA beneficiaries, or Dreamers, have been a significant part of the success of the state of Texas and communities like Texas," O'Rourke told the {link:El Paso Times. : "http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/politics/texlege/2017/06/29/texas-threatens-trump-administration-lawsuit-over-daca-work-permits/440721001/" target="_blank"}

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