Court Rules DACA is Likely Unconstitutional

Aug 01, 2013, 18:35 ET from FAIR

FAIR Calls Upon the Administration or Congress to End Backdoor Amnesty Program

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to a Federal District Court ruling that the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is unconstitutional, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is calling upon the administration to suspend the program, or for Congress to take decisive action to shut it down.


In a July 31 ruling, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed a challenge to DACA brought by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, claiming that the "Court does not have jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' disputes." The ruling was issued in a case determining whether the Court had jurisdiction to rule on the challenge brought by the ICE agents.

While the Court determined that it did not have authority to hear the case, Judge Reed O'Connor agreed that program is likely unconstitutional. "[T]he Court finds that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim challenging the Directive and Morton Memorandum as contrary to the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act," Judge O'Connor wrote. Under DACA, illegal aliens who meet certain criteria are administratively granted relief from deportation and permitted to work in the U.S.

In their lawsuit, filed in August 2012, the ICE agents argued that DACA and other policy directives handed down by ICE Director John Morton are unconstitutional because Congress, by federal statute, requires the agents to place aliens who are not "clearly and beyond a doubt entitled to be admitted" to the United States into removal proceedings.

In an earlier ruling handed down in April, Judge O'Connor stated clearly that, "DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings when the requirements of Section 1225(b)(2)(A) are satisfied." That section requires the agents to place aliens who are not "clearly and beyond a doubt entitled to be admitted" to the United States into removal proceedings.

"While the court in this case claimed that it does not have jurisdiction over the plaintiffs' challenge to the DACA policy, Judge O'Connor made it clear that the policy is unconstitutional," stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "Having been told twice that his policy is unconstitutional, the president should acknowledge his constitutional obligation and rescind the policy. If the president is not prepared to comply on his own, it is incumbent upon Congress to take decisive action to shut it down."

In June, the House of Representatives voted to defund DACA. However the Senate has yet to act.

"Irrespective of how members of Congress might feel about the president's objective of allowing illegal aliens to remain in the U.S., they, like the president, are sworn to uphold the Constitution. In the Court's judgment, DACA clearly preempts the Legislative Branch's exclusive authority to determine our immigration laws and it must be terminated," Stein concluded.