Seven states sue federal government to cancel DACA permanently

Texas and six other states today filed suit against the U.S. government for continuing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program past the March 5 expiration date that President Donald Trump had stipulated when he ordered the program canceled last year.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, R-Texas, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas seeking to have the court declare DACA illegal and prohibit further renewal of the immigration relief program, which currently protects approximately 690,000 immigrants who came to the country illegally when they were under the age of 16.

This is the second time Paxton has filed a class action lawsuit to end DACA. The previous time was in 2014. On that occasion, the coalition of states, led by Texas, succeeded in getting U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Texas Andrew Hanen reject the expansion of DACA and the implementation of DAPA.

Eventually, that case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the justices reached a 4-4 tie, with the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals taking effect.

The other states joining the lawsuit are Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia.

Since he ordered the cancellation of DACA, multiple lawsuits have been filed to demand the continuation of the program.

Three judges - in different states - ruled that President Trump's administration had no legal justification for the abrupt cancellation of DACA.

In the most recent decision, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates ruled that the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) argument for rescinding the program was "arbitrary and capricious" and gave the government 90 days to come up with a better justification. Otherwise, his ruling would go into effect, ordering not only the continuation of DACA re-enrollments, but also new enrollments in the program.

But the latter lawsuit could be the one that takes the case back to the Supreme Court.

This afternoon the case was assigned to federal judge Andrew Hanen, the same judge who ruled against the expansion of DACA and the implementation of DAPA.