22 DACA Recipients Want To Be Defendants In Lawsuit Texas Leads Aiming To End Program

They contend the Trump Administration is not willing to protect them adequately

The U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under the Obama-era DACA program, which shields from deportation young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
This file photo shows a rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Twenty two DACA recipients want to be listed as defendants in the lawsuit Texas and six other states have recently filed to end the program.

Twenty two recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program want to become defendants in the lawsuit that Texas and six other states filed last week with the goal of ending the Obama-era initiative. They contend that officials from the Trump Administration, which are the defendants, wouldn’t represent them adequately in the litigation because the Administration has an incorrect view of the law regarding DACA.

In September 2017, the Trump Administration announced its intention to terminate DACA, but the program has remained in place because of three separate federal court rulings in California, New York and Washington, D.C.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced last week that the state is leading a lawsuit, supported by six other states, to terminate DACA with the argument that the program is “unlawful.”

The Texas-led lawsuit is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Brownsville Division.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) announced Tuesday it has filed what is called a motion for intervention on behalf of the 22 DACA recipients.

Six from Texas

According to MALDEF, the 22 DACA recipients –six of which live in Texas— say they would be inadequately represented by the Trump Administration.

“Texas and the Trump administration share the same erroneous and uninformed view of the law with respect to DACA,” said Thomas Saenz, MALDEF's president and general counsel in a news release.

MALDEF argues that DACA recipients would face substantial harm unless they are allowed to intervene in the litigation as defendants because, according to MALDEF’s news release, “the Trump administration is unlikely and unwilling to adequately protect their interests given its public opposition to DACA.”

Former President Barack Obama established DACA in 2012 and the program has shielded from deportation hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as minors.

You can read MALDEF's motion for intervention here:

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required