HOUSTON - Dreamers, attorneys and local advocates will gather in Houston to celebrate and speak after a federal judge in Texas has declined to order that the U.S. government stop the Obama-era program shielding young immigrants from deportation.
Texas-based District Judge Andrew Hanen wrote Friday that he believes DACA is likely illegal and ultimately will fail to survive a challenge before his court. DACA is an Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation.
The gathering will be held at the FIEL headquarters at 4 p.m. Friday.
"We are pleased by this ruling by Judge Hanen in saying that there does not need to be an emergency halt on the DACA program. As a DREAMer this situation can be very frustrating and can cause a lot of anxiety. We know that there is a long road ahead but for the more than 7,000,000 beneficiaries of the DACA program this offers a sigh of relief we hope that we may continue to push for the continuation for the DACA program as well as a more permanent solution for DREAMers and their families," said Cesar Espinosa, executive director FIEL.
Hanen said that there were two issues that required him to deny the request to immediately halt the program: One was timeliness. He found that because Texas and its coalition of states waited more than five years after the implementation of DACA, even as it challenged a related program, to file this suit, that it lost some of its ability to claim damages were immediately harmful and thus required an immediate response.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who led the challenge to DACA, hailed the ruling in a statement, despite it being an interim loss in court.
"We're now very confident that DACA will soon meet the same fate as the Obama-era Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, which the courts blocked after I led another state coalition challenging its constitutionality," Paxton said. "Our lawsuit is vital to restoring the rule of law to our nation's immigration system."
AG Paxton has plenty of company in its DACA lawsuit, as the attorney generals for seven states - Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia -- are standing with Paxton as are the governors for the states of Maine and Mississippi.
2018 KPRC/ CNN