(Headline USA) An effort by open-borders activists and the Biden adminitration to force red states to comply with an unconstitutional executive order from former President Barack Obama appeared to founder before a federal appeals court Wednesday.
Attorneys hoped to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that blocked the deportation of thousands of illegal immigrants brought into the U.S. as children and teenagers.
Obama’s illegal implementation of the policy, by refusing to uphold federal law, triggered a flood of unaccompanied minors that has extended to the current border crisis. Many of the vulnerable children making the trek have been exploited by drug cartels, gangs and human-traffickers leading to an uptick in rape and child-sex slavery, as well as other criminal activity on both sides of the border.
Once admitted into the country as part of Democrats’ efforts to import future voters, many continue to face inhumane conditions in immigrant processing centers before getting shipped to communities dominated by the same criminal element they claimed to have been fleeing.
Putting aside the actual letter of the law, DACA proponents claimed that ending the program would cruelly disrupt the lives of thousands who have grown up to become tax-paying, productive drivers of the U.S. economy.
However, an attorney for the state of Texas argued that DACA recipients have cost the state hundreds of millions in health care and other costs.
The dueling views at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans were exchanged as more than 100 left-wing activists held signs, beat drums and chanted outside of the courthouse.
“I am undocumented, and I will speak out today,” said Woojung “Diana” Park, 22, of New York. She said she was brought to the U.S. as a 1-year-old from South Korea. DACA, she said, “is the bare minimum that the U.S. government has offered immigrant communities after decades of fighting for basic human rights.”
A federal judge in Texas last year declared DACA illegal—although he agreed to leave the program intact for those already benefiting from it while his order is appealed.
The U.S. Justice Department defended the program, allied with the state of New Jersey, advocacy organizations such as the Mexican–American Legal Defense and Education Fund and a coalition of dozens of powerful corporations—including Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft—which benefit from cheap immigrant labor and argue that DACA recipients are “employees, consumers and job creators.”
Texas, joined by eight other Republican-leaning states, argued that DACA was enacted without going through proper legal and administrative procedures, including public notice and comment periods. Additionally, the states argued that they were harmed financially by allowing immigrants to remain in the country illegally.
DACA proponents claimed that the program falls within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s power to prioritize enforcement.
They used past failures to enforce border security and the rule of law as their legal justification for allowing the abuses to continue in perpetuity, suggesting that the problem was now too big to address through enforcement.
“DHS has limited resources,” argued Brian Boynton of the Justice Department. “It’s unable to remove 11 million people in the country. It has to decide who it’s going to target first.”
In court and in briefs, DACA backers have maintained that Texas diminished its claims of financial injury by waiting six years to challenge the program. They also said the state ignores evidence that DACA recipients decrease Texas’s costs because many of them hold jobs with health insurance benefits, own homes and pay property taxes that support schools.
In addition, they claimed that Texas hasn’t shown DACA recipients would leave the state if the program were struck down. That point was met with skepticism by Judge James Ho, who noted that in a survey included with New Jersey’s legal arguments, more than 20% of DACA recipients said they were likely to leave if the program were abolished.
Boynton argued that the respondents’ answers were merely speculative and supporters of the program, in briefs, have questioned the methodology of the survey. But Ho again questioned whether the responses should be dismissed.
“This is a question about, literally, your entire life,” Ho told Boynton. “This is a pretty profound question to get wrong.”
Judd Stone, arguing for the state of Texas, said the state has shown that it expends millions of dollars on DACA recipients and that the end of the program would lead to some of those who receive that money leaving the state. “There is no evidence showing that either of those numbers are zero,” Stone said.
In court briefs and in news conferences in New Orleans and South Carolina on Wednesday, DACA supporters pressed the argument that ending DACA would have devastating consequences for immigrants who have only known the United States as their home.
“I’m a father of a 10-year-old, so getting DACA rescinded would put me in limbo of not knowing if I’m going to take my son to his next football game,” Yahel Flores, a DACA recipient and the Carolinas state director of the American Business Immigration Coalition, told reporters on a Zoom call.
Obama first implemented DACA in June 2012, suggesting that Flores already had conceived the child prior to its implementation.
In a court brief, DACA supporters said program beneficiaries “are parents of over a quarter-million U.S. citizens, and 70% of DACA recipients have an immediate family member who is a U.S. citizen.”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press