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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (C) delivering remarks to the news media, at the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, Mar. 2, 2016. EFE/Shawn Thew
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (C) delivering remarks to the news media, at the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, Mar. 2, 2016. EFE/Shawn Thew

10 Red states demand Trump eliminate program protecting Dreamers

Officials of 10 US states asked HAVE urged the Donald Trump administration to eliminate the DACA program, which has protected some 800,000 young undocumented…

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Officials of 10 US states, headed by the Republican attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, on Thursday urged the Donald Trump administration to eliminate the DACA program, which has protected some 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

  Ten attorneys general and a governor - all Republicans - said in a letter sent to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions "We respectfully request that the secretary of homeland security phase out the DACA program. Just like DAPA, DACA unilaterally confers eligibility for work authorization and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress."

  DAPA stands for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program.

  They threatened to file lawsuits against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program in court if the government does not end it prior to Sept. 5.

  They also asked Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to annul the June 15, 2012, DACA memorandum and order the executive branch not to renew any DACA permits or expand it in the future.

  DACA enables certain eligible illegal immigrants who entered the US illegally as children to be shielded from deportation for two-year stints and receive work permits.

  Paxton was joined in the effort by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Idaho, along with the Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, all of whom signed the letter.

  If the administration does not cancel DACA, the officials say they will file suit against the program in the Brownsville, Texas, court of Judge Andrew S. Hanen, the same District Court for the Southern District of Texas magistrate who in 2015 halted the DAPA program, which benefited undocumented adult immigrants and was implemented by former President Barack Obama.

  Less than a month ago, Kelly had revoked DAPA but he said that DACA would remain in place.

  With the news of the letter, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (Maldef) condemned the states' action and called it "xenophobia."

  Maldef president Thomas Saenz said that the move was "xenophobic" and was not consistent with US history and progress, and he urged Trump to protect DACA beneficiaries, who - he said - have repeatedly shown themselves to be worthy of protection against deportation.

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