A group of 10 Republican state attorneys general and one governor are threatening to sue the Trump administration if it does not rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama executive action that granted amnesty to more than one million undocumented immigrants.
“We respectfully request that the Secretary of Homeland Security phase out the DACA program,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday.
The letter was signed by nine other attorneys general, as well as Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.
In the letter, the Republicans called on the Trump administration to rescind DACA, which Obama enacted through executive action on June 15, 2012, and to order the Executive Branch to cease issuing and renewing DACA permits in the future.
Earlier this month, Sec. of Homeland Security John Kelly rescinded Obama executive actions implemented in Nov. 2014 that expanded DACA and created a new amnesty initiative, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents, or DAPA.
But in that memo, dated June 15, Kelly stated that Obama’s original DACA initiative “will remain in effect.”
Under DACA, more than one million undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children are eligible for protection from deportation and work permits.
Paxton asserted that if DAPA and Expanded DACA are “unlawful,” as the Trump administration maintains, then Obama’s original DACA policy is as well.
In the letter, Paxton said that his fellow state attorneys general will voluntarily dismiss a pending lawsuit against the federal government over its amnesty policies if the Trump administration agrees to rescind DACA by Sept. 5.
Otherwise, the attorneys general will modify the lawsuit to include a challenge of DACA.
“The complaint in that case will be amended to challenge both the DACA program and the remaining Expanded DACA permits,” the letter states.
While Trump and Sessions have taken a hard line on illegal immigration, the administration has avoided addressing DACA, much to the chagrin of Trump’s base and in violation of the real estate baron’s campaign promises.
“We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties, in which he defied federal law and the Constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants,” Trump said during the campaign.
Some immigration hardliners have predicted that a lawsuit against DACA may be the only thing that forces Trump to roll back the Obama executive order. (RELATED: Steve King: Defenders Of The Constitution May Need To Sue Trump Over DACA)
“Is [Trump] going to force us to go back to court again?” Iowa Rep. Steve King, an immigration hawk, asked in an interview in April with The Daily Caller’s Alex Pfeiffer.