The State of Texas on Wednesday argued a federal judge should end the program shielding hundreds of thousands of immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children.
Three other federal judges have already stopped the Trump administration from ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals -- also known as DACA. A Texas-led lawsuit being considered in Houston could change that.
The Obama era memorandum which allows illegal immigrants -- brought here as children -- to live and work in the United States. Instead of ruling, the judge sent both sides home with work to do.
"At the end he asked each side to submit an additional five-page argument on the question whether DACA is illegal because the administration should have done more to set into regulation before it was implemented in 2012,” said Nina Perales, attorney, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is spearheading the suit along with attorney generals from several other states, released a statement, saying in part, “DACA represents a dangerous view of executive power, which would allow the president to unilaterally set aside any duly enacted law.”
Juan Carlos Cerda is a DACA recipient who grew up and lives in North Texas. He went on to attend Yale on full scholarship.
“It’s anxiety that runs through my head every day. This is like a political telenovela that we're living through,” Cerda said. “Having DACA -- that's completely changed everything. I was able to graduate from Yale debt free and serve the community as a kindergarten teacher through Teacher for America.”
Since the Trump administration began it has attempted to end DACA. Three federal judges have stopped that from happening.
However, the judge in Houston has a track record on immigration. He blocked the Obama administration from expanding DACA in 2013. If he rules against DACA again, it could create a legal conflict that could end up in the supreme court.
“I have to have hope, we have to have hope to keep going day to day,” Cerda said.
The federal judge has asked both sides to submit new briefs by Monday. Once that happens, a ruling could occur shortly after.