DACA

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a highly anticipated set of cases that threatens the legal status of some 700,000 young immigrants — often called DREAMers — who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. It's a program that President Trump tried to rescind seven months after taking office, only to have the lower courts block his action.

Mitchell Santos Toledo came to the United States when he was 2. His parents had temporary visas when they brought him and his 5-year-old sister to the country. They never left. This spring, Santos Toledo will graduate from Harvard Law School. He is one of the 700,000 DREAMers whose fate in the U.S. may well be determined by a Supreme Court case to be argued Tuesday.

The fates of almost 1 million people brought to the country illegally as children, known as DREAMers, are now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court granted an appeal to the Trump administration's decision to end the DACA program, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The Obama-era program to protect DREAMers will get a one-hour hearing before the high court next term. The court said it would consolidate three appeals into one argument.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

President Donald Trump's Hail Mary offer to trade protections for recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program for border-wall funding could be dead on arrival as Congress heads back to work this week.

The Department of Justice has once again petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene in pending cases over the future of DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era program that protects immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

The program is keeping about 700,000 young people from being deported, NPR's Joel Rose notes. At the moment, DACA is accepting renewals but not new applicants. If the program is ended, currently protected individuals could be deported, though it's not clear how quickly that might happen.

Julian Aguilar / Texas Tribune

A federal district judge on Friday denied the state of Texas’ request that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program be put on hold after Texas and nine other states sued to halt the Obama-era program.

Julian Aguilar / The Texas Tribune

The state of Texas will continue to incur irreparable financial harm if an Obama-era immigration program isn't halted immediately, attorneys for the state argued in Houston on Wednesday.

Julian Aguilar / The Texas Tribune

When the state of Texas successfully halted a proposed 2014 federal immigration program to aid adult immigrants, the state's attorneys were able to convince federal courts Texas would be irreparably harmed by the implementation of the sweeping initiative.

But as the Texas attorney general’s office goes to court next week in an attempt to shut down the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that argument won’t be as strong because the program has been in place for more than half a decade, attorneys with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund said Tuesday.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

From Texas Standard.

South Texas is ground zero for a fight to end DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The Trump administration has tried to end it, but twice, courts have ruled that the administration can’t do that. Now DACA opponents are trying a different legal maneuver – Texas and six other states have sued the federal government. The Trump Justice Department’s not putting up a fight, which could mean the end of DACA.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has asked a court to stop the federal government from issuing or renewing DACA permits while a lawsuit Texas filed yesterday with six other states is pending.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Following through on a months-old promise, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Tuesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, leading a seven-state coalition against an Obama-era immigration measure that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants nationwide from deportation, including more than 120,000 in Texas.

A federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration's decision to end deportation protections for some young immigrants, saying the White House was "arbitrary and capricious" in moving to end the Obama-era DACA program.

In a blow to President Trump, who has long railed against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates for the District of Columbia said the Department of Homeland Security had failed to provide an adequate rationale for why the program is unlawful.

Molly Adams/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Young immigrants protected by the DACA program have been in limbo since the Obama-era program was canceled by President Trump last year.  Now we’re hearing rumblings of Republicans, including at least one from Texas, trying a new strategy to get a DACA vote in Congress.

Updated at 3:44 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed the Trump administration a setback over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

The court declined to take up a key case dealing with the Obama-era DACA — for now.

The high court said an appeals court should hear the case first. The result is DACA will stay in place until or if the Supreme Court takes it up.

Jude Matsalla/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Many folks will be watching the State of the Union to hear what President Trump might say about immigration. The latest White House proposal has two key numbers – 1.8 million is how many so-called Dreamers could be put on a path to citizenship, and 25 billion is how much funding the Trump Administration wants for border security, including building a wall.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT News.

From Texas Standard.

As the nation waits for lawmakers to decide what to do, if anything, about DACA, a federal judge in California has decided not to wait for Congress.

Last week the judge, based in San Francisco, used a local case to issue a nationwide injunction – an order to keep the Trump administration from pulling the plug on DACA. The Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to intervene.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Watchdog groups are concerned about a Department of Justice request to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. The agency says the information is needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act, specifically a section that bans racial discrimination.

“It’s just a ridiculous political statement and doesn’t hold water given the facts,” says Phil Sparks, co-director of the Census Project, a national coalition of groups that use census data.

Updated 9:55 a.m. ET

A federal judge in California temporarily blocked the Trump administration's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program late Tuesday night.

Widely known as DACA, the program protects young immigrants from deportation. In September, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the program would be phased out.

It may be a new year, but Congress plans to spend most of January wrapping up old business left over from 2017.

Congressional leaders are promising to head off any chance of a government shutdown well before the Jan. 19 deadline, but a nearly yearlong fight over President Trump's demands to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border could threaten those plans.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

From Texas Standard.

Across the country right now, more than 700,000 people are looking to Congress for an answer about their futures – and about 124,000 of them live in Texas. We’re talking about Dreamers, the name that refers to young people brought to the U.S. without authorization when they were just kids. Now, the Obama-era executive action protecting them from deportation is set to expire and it’s up to lawmakers in Washington to decide what to do next.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Republicans are set to pass a once in a generation tax overhaul. That was dramatic, but here’s where it could get really messy: in the run up to Christmas, we could see a government shutdown if both chambers of Congress can’t get it together on a bill to extend federal funding. As of this moment, it’s not just Republicans and Democrats who don’t see eye to eye – it’s the House and Senate, too.

Lynda Gonzalez / KUT

Editor's note: We have removed the last name of the woman profiled in this story to protect the identity of her parents.

Oluwatoyosi, Toyosi for short, stands observant, her hands clasped in the middle of a crowd of more than 40 people in the basement of Hogg Auditorium. The 21-year-old is showcasing a collection of designs at Fest Africa: Africa Uncut, the Texas African Student Organization’s annual cultural showcase.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

The deadline for DACA recipients to renew their status is this Thursday and in Austin there are local efforts to help recipients get their paperwork done in time.

 

United States Senate Photography /Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

From Texas Standard:

Following the Trump administration's announcement that it would rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, Republican lawmakers in Washington are reportedly working on what they call "fixes" to U.S. immigration policy.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

In high school, being involved was important to Andrea De La Vega. She was editor of the school newspaper. She was the lead attorney on the mock trial team. She was in the top 10 percent of her class at Edinburg High School, which all but guaranteed entry into UT Austin, one of her top schools, when she applied in 2009.

That’s when she realized her immigration status could hold her back.

Immigrants who need to renew their DACA permits can get free legal help through a local nonprofit at a clinic Sept. 17.

Texas Here To Stay is hosting the clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mexican Consulate on Ben White Boulevard to help people fill out and send in their renewal forms.

Karen Reyes, was brought to the U.S. as a child and is covered under DACA.
Martin do Nascimento

Demonstrators gathered outside Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office Tuesday to protest the White House decision to get rid of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Trump administration said today it plans to phase out the Obama-era program that protects from deportation people who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

But in an announcement this morning, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Congress could officially authorize the program known as DACA before it expires in March.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields people brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation. The program was started by an executive order from former President Obama in 2012.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Fifteen immigrant rights activists were arrested Wednesday after blocking traffic at the intersection of 15th Street and Congress Avenue during a sit-in to protest Attorney General Ken Paxton's push to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

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