Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, along with AGs from six other states, filed a lawsuit Tuesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was implemented by an Obama administration memo without the legal consent of Congress and protects hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants nationwide from deportation.
On Wednesday, Marshall joined the same multi-state coalition in filing a preliminary injunction against DACA.
Since the Obama administration’s unilateral creation of the DACA program in 2012, nearly one million unlawful aliens have been given legal presence and work eligibility in the United States.
“The U.S. Constitution is quite clear that Congress alone has the legal authority to write U.S. immigration law, not the President through an executive branch memo, said Marshall. “We are a nation of laws and when those laws are ignored by a branch of the federal government, as we have witnessed with the creation of DACA without Congressional approval, the proper response is to take legal action as our coalition of seven states has done. This purpose of this pursuit has never been to steer immigration policy, but to rightfully return policymaking to the legislative branch of government.”
The suit follows a months old threat to sue the federal government to end the DACA program, which the Trump administration agreed to phase it out by March 2018. Since then, activist judges in at least three separate federal courts have issued rulings blocking the dismantling of DACA.
The multi-state lawsuit asks a federal court to declare DACA unlawful and prevent the federal government from issuing or reviewing any additional DACA permits in the future. The suit however, does not call on the federal government to deport any unlawful aliens presently protected by DACA or rescind DACA permits already issued.
Alabama is joined by Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia in filing the suit.