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Fact check: True.


When Donald Trump decided to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) last September, he said he simply had to, to head off a lawsuit by a coalition of states that planned to sue to end the program. And now that Trump has tried to end DACA but damnfool liberal federal judges have ruled he can't do that, the Great State of Texas and six other states have gone ahead and filed that lawsuit to kill DACA once and for all, because apparently there's still a disturbing number of brown people in Texas.

Texas Attorney General and inevitable gubernatorial wannabe Ken Paxton explained this is a simple matter of respect for the law, don't you know:

Our lawsuit is about the rule of law, not the wisdom of any particular immigration policy,” Paxton said in a press release. “Texas has argued for years that the federal executive branch lacks the power to unilaterally grant unlawfully present aliens lawful presence and work authorization.”

Eek! Unlawfully present aliens! It's not like they're people who grew up thinking of themselves as belonging here, because that's mere liberal sentimentality, and rightwing thought never descends into mawkish emotionalism unless there's an an advantage in doing so.

The text of the lawsuit makes it very clear that it's aimed at cutting off at the knees recent federal judges' injunctions keeping DACA in place, especially last week's ruling by a federal district court in Washington DC which held that not only can't Trump end DACA, the government should start taking new applications. After all the goal isn't to prolong DACA, it's to eliminate that terrible overreach by Barack Hussein Obama:

This lawsuit does not call on this Court to resolve any of the challenges pending [...] about the validity of executive action in 2017. Rather, this lawsuit challenges whether the 2012 executive action unilaterally creating DACA was itself lawful.

At a news conference Tuesday, Paxton made clear he wouldn't have filed the suit if those interfering federal courts hadn't capriciously tried to overrule Donald Trump's executive decision:

Three activist federal judges have blocked the federal government from canceling DACA [...] That means that unelected federal judges are forcing the Trump administration to leave an unlawful program in place indefinitely as legal challenges drag on.

You have to love rightwing logic: Gotta respect the Constitution, but unelected judges -- who are in office because the Constitution established a judicial branch in the first place -- are a threat to the rule of law.

As the Texas Tribune points out, Paxton is all about reining in unilateral actions by the executive or judicial branches that Texas doesn't like:

Paxton warned Tuesday that conceding the presidential power to establish a program like DACA sets a dangerous precedent that could allow executives to “ignore the will of the people” and set their own policies on a long list of policy points. Paxton also criticized “activist judges” in federal court for keeping in place an “unconstitutional” law.

The will of the people is an absolutely sacred thing in Texas, except of course when Texas cities try to do something the state government and its funders in the awl bidniss might object to.

Paxton's goal here is to rescue Donald Trump's beautiful plan to deport 700,000 young adults who were brought to the USA from the capriciousness of the federal courts; the very conservative US District Court for the Southern District of Texas is, after all, the court that killed off Barack Obama's follow-on to DACA, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), which protected parents of kids born in the USA from deportation. When the Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 on that case in 2016, the lower court ruling held. If the court rules against DACA altogether, that clash with the cases that have stayed Trump from ending the program could force the issue up to the Supreme Court more quickly.

Mind you, while Texas et al. would simply love to see hundreds of thousands of DREAMers summarily deported, the lawsuit makes clear there's room for compromise: They could be deported a bit more slowly, for instance.

This Court has authority to immediately rescind and cancel all DACA permits currently in existence because they are unlawful. However, Plaintiffs are amenable to a remedy that enjoins Defendants from issuing or renewing DACA permits in the future, effectively phasing out the program within two years.

So don't you go accusing Texas of being unreasonable. All Ken Paxton wants to do is deport 124,000 Texans and eat the economic costs (estimated to be in the billions) of eliminating some 100,000 jobs in the state, in order to make a point about the rule of law.

Of course, there's also the possibility that Congress could get off its ass and pass a bill to protect DACA recipients, but why would it go and do something silly like that?

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[Texas Tribune / Vox / NYT /Texas et al v United States / Image by Molly Adams, Creative Commons 2.0 license]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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