TX applauds quashing of Obama order on immigration
Monday, June 19, 2017
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)
The attorney general of Texas is praising Donald Trump for rescinding what he says was an unconstitutional immigration executive order issued by Barack Obama.
In early 2015, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton led a 26-state coalition lawsuit against the 2014 Obama-era policy memo that created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program. Former President Obama's action was intended to grant five million illegal aliens in the U.S. "lawful presence" status and allow them to apply for work permits.
The suit filed by the states succeeded in putting DAPA on hold as the case worked its way through the courts. Last week, on June 15, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the issuance of a memo permanently rescinding DAPA. Paxton applauds the decision.
"The Trump administration now rescinded what we considered – and what I think the courts were going to say – was an illegal action by President Obama as it related to immigration," the Texas AG tells OneNewsNow.
Paxton argues that DAPA clearly violated immigration statutes passed by Congress.
"These are people who knew exactly what they were doing," he says of those who would have benefited from the program. "And so [it's obviously a problem] for President Obama to basically violate immigration law and say I know the law says you can't be here, but we're going to allow four or five million of you to stay and we're not going to pay attention to what Congress has passed and we're going to do our own thing.
" ... The Constitution doesn't give the president that power," Paxton emphasizes. "Only Congress has the power to change laws. So if we allow him to do it, the whole idea of having separation of powers – which our founders so much believed in – was going to be basically eviscerated."
Paxton is disappointed, however, that the Trump administration allowed Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to remain in effect. So is a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
"... In spite of the fact that Trump, during the campaign, said he was going to repeal that [as well], that is still going strong," says Ira Mehlman. "Not only are they renewing DACA applications, but they're actually granting new DACA deferments. So the president needs to address that as well."
As for the DAPA program, Mehlman sees that repeal as a positive move by the administration – but he argues for all intents and purposes, it was dead anyway.
And on 'sanctuary cities'?
Meanwhile, Texas is taking pre-emptive action to keep jurisdictions in the state from giving sanctuary to illegal immigrants.
Texas is on the front line of the illegal immigration battle and the state legislature has passed a law imposing tough penalties on officials and jurisdictions that provide sanctuary to illegal aliens. Paxton says the law was passed to punish jurisdictions like Travis County, where Austin is located, for refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials.
"There are penalties for elected officials and for cities. There are civil penalties [and] potential criminal penalties, removal from office if they don't comply with the law," the AG explains.
Paxton says Texas has taken a step to head off potential lawsuits against the sanctuary jurisdiction law.
"It was basically a lawsuit that preempted all other lawsuits," he says. "Now of course these cities have tried to sue in another place, where I guess they feel like they'll get a more favorable ruling; but the reality is we were trying to avoid having lawsuits around the state. We wanted to have one lawsuit with everybody in the same lawsuit and resolve it in one place."
On a related issue, Paxton's office today announced Texas has joined a ten-state coalition filing an amicus brief supporting the constitutionality of President Trump's executive order on sanctuary cities. "[It is] fully constitutional and a large step toward public safety," he states in a press release.
6/20/2017 - Mehlman's comments and 'sanctuary cities' section added.
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