A number of Texas businessmen and business organizations have recently filed a brief in opposition of the Texas state government’s efforts to pursue legal action aimed at terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Obama-era immigration policy they claim plays a vital role in the Texas economy.
Representatives from southwest businesses, business associations, and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce filed the brief last week objecting to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against the DACA program, citing concerns over the significant negative consequences that getting rid of the program would have on their businesses. Rescinding DACA, they claim, would cause Texas to lose over $6 billion in economic activity over the next 10 years.
DACA is an Obama executive order that took effect in 2012, designed to protect immigrants who entered the country as children from immediate deportation and provides them the opportunity to acquire temporary work permits. The brief states that DACA has given over 126,000 Texas-based immigrants deferred status since its implementation.
Among those who filed the brief are Southwest Airlines; the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce in Austin, Brazoria County, Houston, Midland, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley; the Texas Association of Business; a number of border city mayors; and three other companies.
The lawsuit, filed by Texas and 6 other states in May, calls for the elimination of the program based on the contention that former president Obama exceeded his executive power in coming up with the DACA program without the approval of congress.
According to the Texas Attorney General’s office, the suit is “about preserving proper enforcement of immigration laws and the creation of those laws by our elected Congress.”
“The President is not free to override the will of the people and bypass elected representatives just because he disagrees on policy matters,” argues Paxton’s director of communications Marc Rylander. “As we’ve made clear time and again, ending new DACA applications along with renewals would allow this unlawful program to phase out over the next two years.”
DACA recipients (known as “Dreamers”) based in Texas will contribute around $244.7 million in taxes in 2018 alone, the brief states. On top of that, their presence in the state is also believed to create a considerable amount of jobs.
The Texas Business Association believes that rescinding the program would only result in an economic net loss, according to association CEO Jeff Moseley.
“Clearly this workforce that has been trained with public dollars in public schools is working and contributing mightily to the Texas economy,” Moseley states. He also adds that denying productive immigrants entry into the country would only empower competing economies.
If you, or a loved one, are under DACA status in Texas and want to discuss your legal options should the worst happen, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with the legal team of the Lyttle Law Firm. Contact our offices at (512) 215-5225 to schedule a consultation with Austin immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle.