WASHINGTON — Arizona joined 12 other states this week that asked the Supreme Court to roll back Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that they say has caused “irreparable harm” to their states.

The brief was filed on behalf of 12 attorneys general and one governor, all Republicans, who claimed that the program is unlawful and urged the Supreme Court to overturn lower courts that have so far blocked Trump administration efforts to end DACA.

It was two years ago next week that the administration said it would “wind down” DACA, an Obama-era program that protects immigrants who were brought here illegally as children. The executive order deferred deportation of recipients for two years and allowed them to get work permits and drivers licenses, among other benefits.

The states calling for an end to the program said it has strained their finances as they have had to provide services such as health care, education and law enforcement for recipients – the so-called “Dreamers.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the lead official on the brief, claimed that his state alone spends $250 million a year on services for DACA recipients.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who signed on to the brief, did not respond to requests for comment on it this week.

But one immigration advocate called it “insane and despicable” that Arizona is joining with the other states to try to end DACA. Petra Falcon, executive director of Promise Arizona, said she was surprised Brnovich is working to overturn a policy that she said has wide support.

“I’m surprised that there is not closer communication with their communities,” Falcon said of the officials behind the brief. She said Dreamers are not a drain on society as the brief claims.

“They’ve been in this country for a long time. They’ve never lived anywhere else. They’re studying here. They’re working here,” Falcon said of DACA recipients.

But Matt O’Brien of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that advocates for limited immigration, defended the challenge to DACA, which he calls unlawful.

“Many of these people are now adults and have been aware since their early teen years that they were not lawfully present in the United States, and yet they didn’t leave which they’re legally obligated to do,” O’Brien said.

He said President Donald Trump is correcting what he called an unlawful action by then-President Barack Obama, who created DACA through an executive order in 2012.

Despite Trump’s threat to end DACA, however, the number of active recipients has remained relatively steady, as courts have blocked the administration’s plan. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reported that there were 660,880 active DACA recipients in June, down from the 689,800 who were covered in September 2017.

The attorneys general point to court rulings striking down related programs – an expanded DACA and a deferral program for parents of DACA recipients – as proof that DACA should suffer the same fate.

But critics accuse Republicans of using scare tactics in their fight against DACA, which one called a “stunt.”

“This stunt is out of step with our state’s values … Arizona Democrats recognize we need smart immigration reform,” said Matt Grodsky, a spokesperson for the Arizona Democratic Party. “This is not the way to achieve that.”

The Supreme Court combined three cases that successfully challenged the Trump administration’s “wind down” of DACA into one case, which it is scheduled to hear arguments on in November.

For more stories from Cronkite News, visit cronkitenews.azpbs.org.


(7) comments


This about kids, kids that some went to school with my kids for years, kids who only know life here and have the same dreams as our kids do. Find a solution for the kids or please just shut up, nobody should be so cruel to not want to help kids who are trying their best and had no choice but to be here.

Mr Lemons

First, no one has to shut up just because you don't like their opinion.

In 2014 there were 3.9 illegal immigrant children in the United States in K-12. More under kindergarten age. Five years later, there's probably a few million more. This is a much bigger problem than the few kids that your kids knew. What is your solution? Amnesty for everyone? Amnesty for the kids? Say we give amnesty to everyone here illegally, which Reagan did in the 80s. What prevents this all happening over and over again. After each amnesty we start talking about the new illegals and their kids that didn't have a choice. You see, it never ends. It's not heartless to want a sovereign nation with borders that mean something. And the cruelty lies at the feet of the parents who brought them into the United States in the first place.


To qualify for DACA, applicants must meet the following major requirements.: 1) Came to the United States before their 16th birthday 2) Have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007 3) Were under age 31 on June 15, 2012 (i.e., born on June 16, 1981 or after) 4) Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS 5) Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012 6) Have completed high school or a GED, have been honorably discharged from the armed forces, or are enrolled in school 7) Have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanors, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety 8) To show proof of qualification (verify these requirements), applicants must submit three forms; I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and I-765WS, Worksheet, as well as supporting documentation along with a fee totaling more than $500


Rovr and his “Stack-O-Facts”[scared] notice the time 06:29 AM, I suspect he was up all night copying and pasting into today’s screed! Speaking of FACTS, did you see J. Biden this week? Even Trump bashing WAPO called him out on it! Is this front runner practicing “stolen valor” or what? Is this the guy who the DIM’s have in mind to beat the President? I don’t think so! Bring it on HG! [batman ] Commander DOT [thumbup][beam]


What is the point of your posting the qualification. No one cares.

Mr Lemons

This article states: "It was two years ago next week that the administration said it would “wind down” DACA, an Obama-era program that protects immigrants who were brought here illegally as children. The executive order deferred deportation of recipients for two years and allowed them to get work permits and drivers licenses, among other benefits."

Actually, Obama issued an executive action regarding DACA, not an executive order. An executive action is really just a policy change. Obama, himself, stated this was a "temporary" change. Subsequent administrations should be able to change "policy" just as Obama did as long as it doesn't violate existing laws. The DACA recipients have had since 2012 to pursue permanent legal status, so I have no sympathy if they didn't try to fix their problem on their own.

Can Of Corn

Well said. Of course Hwy will always show up with his copy & paste propaganda.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.