Texas AG Ken Paxton Leads Ten-State Coalition With Lawsuit Threat Over Obama-Era Immigration Reform

The Texas Tribune reports:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and officials from nine other states on Friday urged the Trump administration to end an Obama-era program that’s allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to live and work in the country without fear of being deported.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Paxton urged the White House to rescind the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. DACA applies to undocumented immigrants that came to the country before they were 16 years old and were 30 or younger as of June 2012. It awards recipients a renewable, two-year work permit and a reprieve from deportation proceedings.

As of August 2016, more than 220,000 undocumented immigrants in Texas had applied for a permit or a renewal of one under the program, and nearly 200,000 of those have been approved, according to government statistics. It’s the second-highest total behind California’s estimated 387,000 applications and 359,000 approvals during the same time frame.

More from the Austin Statesman:

Paxton, who penned the letter, said he and the multi-state coalition that made the request are prepared to pull a lawsuit challenging deferred action program currently pending in district courts if the program is ended by Sept. 5. If not, he said the suit would expand to include DACA and remaining expanded DACA permits.

The attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia signed the letter, along with the Governor of Idaho.

Consul General of Mexico in Austin Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez said the recipients of DACA have spent most of their lives in the United States, and their home countries, whether Mexico or elsewhere, are more foreign to them than the United States.