Los Angeles, CA, Aug. 31, 2018 – Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), Nina Perales, vice president of litigation at MALDEF, and Karla Perez, a MALDEF client, issued the following statements in response to a federal court ruling today denying a request by Texas and nine other states for an injunction to block renewals of grants of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants nationwide.
MALDEF represents 22 defendant-intervenors in Texas, et al. v. United States, a lawsuit filed against the federal government in May challenging the legality of DACA. MALDEF was permitted to intervene in the case on behalf of the DACA recipients after arguing that the Trump administration, which opposes DACA, would not vigorously defend their interests.
In August, Judge Andrew S. Hanen of United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas held a hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction to force the federal government to cease accepting new DACA applications, and to prevent renewals of current grants of deferred action pending resolution of the lawsuit.
Statement by Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF:
“As MALDEF has long contended, there are legal consequences for Texas in delaying its challenge to DACA for six years. Today’s decision correctly recognizes that the balance of possible injuries and the public interest weigh heavily in favor of allowing DACA renewals to continue, as currently required by orders from other federal courts around the country. While MALDEF continues to disagree adamantly with the judge’s views on the legality of DACA under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), and on whether the state of Texas even has standing – as required by the Constitution – to challenge DACA, today’s court decision appropriately leaves DACA in place with respect to over 100,000 Texans and hundreds of thousands of others nationwide.
“The state of Texas has received, as have each of the other states challenging DACA, ongoing and substantial benefits to its economy and community from DACA recipients and their continuing contributions. Texas should drop its abominable lawsuit and puts its large congressional delegation to work securing permanent protection for DACA youth through federal legislation. The time for craven political lawsuits is long over; the time for serious policy solutions is overdue.”
Statement by Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for MALDEF:
“Judge Hanen recognized that the delay by Texas and other states proves that they are not truly harmed by DACA and that basic fairness requires that DACA recipients be allowed to continue working in and contributing to the U.S. until these legal issues are resolved.”
Statement by Karla Perez, a defendant-intervenor in the case and a recipient of DACA:
“DACA has allowed me, like my fellow DACA recipients across the country, to live life without fear, pursue our dreams, and support our families and communities. Today’s favorable ruling brings joy and relief to many young immigrants and their communities who have been waiting to hear whether DACA would be blocked.
“I volunteered at a DACA workshop just yesterday and met with parents, young immigrants and students who shared what they have been able to accomplish for themselves and their families with DACA. I know today, just like me, these DACA recipients and thousands across the country breathe a sigh of relief knowing we can move forward with our lives while this fight in the courts continues. I’m proud to be an intervenor in this case and look forward to seeing our legal team uplift the experiences of DACA recipients because this case cannot be about us without us.”
Read a timeline of DACA litigation here.
Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit: www.maldef.org.