Congressmen Bat Down MALDEF

Press Releases

July 23, 2018

IRLI moves to block activists’ attempt to dismiss Texas DACA challenge

WASHINGTON – Last Friday, three Congressmen – Congressman Steve King of Iowa, and Congressmen Andy Biggs and Paul A. Gosar, both of Arizona – filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, which is hearing a case brought by Texas and seven other states and two governors to have the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program declared unconstitutional. The Congressmen are represented in this effort by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), which drafted the brief.

At issue is a motion to dismiss the case made by a group of Mexican nationals and others represented by the Mexican-American Education & Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF), an open-borders activist group. MALDEF’s clients were allowed to intervene in the case because the defendants, the United States and federal officials, agree with the plaintiffs that DACA is unconstitutional.

Now MALDEF claims the case should not go forward at all. Its main argument is that federal district courts in other parts of the country have blocked the Trump Administration’s rescission of DACA, and thus DACA cannot be struck down by the court in this case. As IRLI points out in its brief, however, whether DACA can be rescinded is a separate question from whether it was unconstitutional to begin with. If it were unconstitutional to begin with, blocking its rescission would not reinstate it, but rather reinstate the last lawful state of affairs – that is, the situation pre-DACA.

“It’s clear why MALDEF, with its open-borders agenda, wants this suit to go away,” commented Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “A victory here for Texas probably would be upheld by the Supreme Court, and DACA would be no more, rescission or no rescission. To try to stop that they’ll make any argument, even the mind-bending claim that, because a ruling by this court that DACA has never been lawful would change the effect of other courts’ rescission rulings, this court can’t take that step.”

The case is being heard by U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen. In 2015, Judge Hanen struck down the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) program, which would have granted amnesty to 4 million illegal aliens and included an expanded version of DACA. Both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and (in a 4-4 ruling) the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Judge Hanen’s DAPA decision.

The case is Texas v. United States, No. 1:18-cv-0068 (S.D. Tex.).

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org

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