The feared August 8, 2018 deadline came and went, and the uncertainty remains for DACA-DREAMers.
Federal Texas Judge Andrew Hanen ordered a hearing for the case Texas v. Nielsen in which Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other AGs from conservative states are seeking to get rid of DACA. They are tracing the same path of destruction as another Obama executive action, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) in 2015: the same judge (Hanen), the same court (Southern District of Texas), and the same plaintiffs (Paxton and nine conservative Attorneys General).
This time the court showdown came with an added bonus for the anti-immigrant crowd: The Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (a reliable tool of the Trump administration) is not defending DACA.
It is reported that the Trump administration lawyers spent only three minutes presenting their side in a hearing that lasted three hours.
Enter MALDEF, 22 courageous DACA-DREAMers, and their friends in the court, The Texas Association of Business, who argued that DACA beneficiaries’ presence helps the economy, contributing $245 million just to the Texas economy in taxes this year.
MALDEF (Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) is a not-for-profit organization that fights for the integration of Mexican-American individuals and their empowerment in society, and has a strong legal arm that fights in the courts representing Mexican-Americans’ interests.
After the hearing, there was no ruling from Judge Hanen, so the suspense continues.
As we suggested in our previous blogs, DACA beneficiaries are encouraged to renew, since it is expected the case Texas v. Nielsen will shoot down DACA in a confrontation with previous rulings by other judges in New York, the District of Columbia and California, creating a conflict of federal orders for USCIS. This confusion may accelerate the path of this legal confrontation toward the Supreme Court of the nation.
Advocacy organizations such as United we DREAM and National Immigration Law Center want DACA-DREAMers to keep renewing even if the time to renew has not come up yet, in order to get two more years with a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Follow our blogs with Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund to get the latest commentary on the latest immigration news.