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Judge Reed O’Connor Dismisses Lawsuit that Would Have Blocked DACA

The U.S. District Court judge that was presiding over the lawsuit brought by ten U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to stop implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, has dismissed the suit for lack of jurisdiction. The DACA program has been used to provide protection against deportation for more than 400,000 young undocumented immigrants, but has been criticized by many anti-immigrant forces as a circumvention of legislative authority.

While the merits and legitimacy of DACA remains in question, as an immigration attorney in Austin, I will continue to offer this program as a means of shielding young immigrants from potential deportation. As long as the federal government continues to offer young undocumented immigrants who are successful students, soldiers or employees, I will continue to present this program as a legal protection for my young clients.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is not a legislative act, but rather a program implemented by the Department of Homeland Security and its departmental organizations ICE, CBP and USCIS to limit deportations of young people aged 15 or older and younger than 31 who have graduated from high school or honorably served in the U.S. military. Eligible beneficiaries must have arrived in the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday, and have been residing in the country for the past five years. DACA protection is only available to those who have no felony or serious misdemeanor convictions and do not present a threat to national security or the public welfare.

The lawsuit was brought by ten agents of ICE who were represented by Kris Kobach and contended that DACA prevented them from performing their legal duties. The judge ruled that the suit was essentially a conflict between employees of the federal government and their employer, and therefore did not fall under the jurisdiction of his court. Kobach stated after the ruling that this was not necessarily the end of the matter; the case could continue on through a different court which possessed the requisite jurisdiction.

Kris Kobach who served as Mitt Romney’s immigration advisor during his 2012 presidential campaign has been a major figure in the anti-immigrant lobby. He has served as Kansas’ Secretary of State and has designed several prominent immigration laws including Arizona’s SB1070 that was partially struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The lawsuit alleges that ICE agents were prevented from enforcing their law enforcement responsibilities by the DACA program because they faced disciplinary consequences for attempting to deport DACA beneficiaries. Pro-immigrant groups have countered that the DACA program allows federal officials to concentrate on criminals.

The DACA program is a worthwhile alternative to deportation for young undocumented immigrants who have diligently finished school and served in the military or found gainful employment. As an immigration attorney in Texas compelled to serve the best interests of my clients, I do present this option to young people who seek to remain the country they have come to call home.

Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC has helped many clients successfully resolve immigration and family law issues. To discuss your case with an experienced legal professional, please call (512) 215-5225.

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