CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office has joined a coalition of six other states are suing the federal government, challenging the 2012 executive action that created the unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Morrisey's office says the Obama-era program, better known as DACA, granted lawful presence and work permits to unlawfully present immigrants without congressional approval. The suit was filed May 1 in federal court in Brownsville, Texas.
“Our lawsuit seeks to enforce the rule of law and the Constitution,” Morrisey said in a statement. “The Obama administration never had the power to bypass Congress and unilaterally make such sweeping change to immigration policy.”
While Morrisey's office joined another coalition last year in defending President Trump’s ability to unwind DACA, a ruling by a federal judge in California blocked the cancellation of DACA and allowed it to remain in place indefinitely.
The new lawsuit urges another federal court to declare DACA unlawful and stop the federal government from issuing or renewing future DACA permits. It does not seek resolution to the California decision, but instead challenges the unilateral and unlawful action that created DACA.
The lawsuit does not seek the removal of any immigrant currently covered by DACA, nor does it ask that any existing DACA permit be rescinded.
As of August 21, 2017, 1,056 immigrants gained U.S. citizenship through DACA, while 39,514 were given a pathway to citizenship despite the Obama administration’s promise the program would not create such a path.
West Virginia joined the coalition with Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska and South Carolina.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas case number 1:18-cv-00068