A Texas judge's ruling that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created through an executive order by former President Barack Obama is unconstitutional was correct and should stand despite President Joe Biden's vow to appeal the decision, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told Newsmax on Saturday.
"This was Texas's lawsuit," Paxton told "Saturday Report." "We had other states join us and the reason we follow this is because this Dreamer thing that that Obama created was not created by federal law. It wasn't created by Congress. He just made it up and he changed existing law."
Whether people like or dislike the policy, which allowed some 650,000 people brought to the United States as children to stay in the country, Obama did not have the right to issue the order, Paxton argued.
"No president has the ability just to ignore federal law and create his own federal law, so we sued," said Paxton. "This is clearly unconstitutional, and I think it should stand.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Houston issued his ruling Friday in a suit brought by Republican-led states.
"Although Congress may someday enact such a Dream Act, until it does, its continued failure to pass bills coextensive with the DACA population evinces a rejection of this policy,” Hanen said in a 77-page decision while noting the widespread sympathy for Dreamers.
“As much as this court might agree with these sentiments, and as popular as this program might be, the proper origination point for DACA was, and is, Congress.”
Also on Saturday, Paxton said Texas Democrat lawmakers who flew away to Washington, D.C., could face arrest if they return during one of Gov. Greg Abbott's special sessions of the legislature.
"As long as there is a special session going, the Democrats can be arrested as soon as they step back in on Texas soil," Paxton told Newsmax. "He can keep calling special sessions on purpose."
On Monday, 57 Democrats left Texas to keep a quorum from meeting in the state House to vote to pass a sweeping Republican voting reform bill. The chambers in the Texas legislature can't take action without a quorum present to vote.
Abbott has already called for one special session for up to 30 days, which expires on Aug. 6, said Paxton, after which he can call for other special sessions to keep the legislature open.
"If you care about the Constitution, their constitutional duty is to show up when there is a session and represent the people that they're elected to represent," said Paxton. "We have a minority of Democrats who have decided they're not going to let any other legislator vote or not even let other legislators do their duty, and so they've broken quorum, which is required in the House...it's clearly a violation of the law."
Paxton said the fleeing Democrats' action is "frustrating" because lawmakers have an obligation to show up for work.
"I know this happened in 2003 when I was there, and it really frustrated me because I'm trying to make a living, take care of my family, represent my constituents, and when they when they take off, it affects the lives of all these other representatives who are giving up their time," said Paxton. "They're making $600 a month and they're away from their families they not taking vacations but they're not working, and these Democrats have just don't care about them."
Meanwhile, Paxton said he does believe there will be a vote on the measure, and "all they're doing is wreaking havoc on the lives of other legislators and slowing the process down illegally."
If the standoff continues, he added, it could also be assumed that the lawmakers will have vacated their offices and that new elections could be held.
"But all of that would take time, but you could eventually replace them if we determine that they were not going to ever show up," said Paxton.
He also said he expects the lawmakers, when they return, to be treated like "heroes," like the absent legislators were treated in 2003 upon their return.
"The House Democrats left for four days and frustrated us being able to do redistricting because we ended up doing it months later, and they came in like they were heroes," said Paxton.
"The gallery was full of their supporters, the media was there lauding them, and they all walked into the House floor together as if they had come back from conquest...I expect the same thing (here). What they've done is wrong, it's illegal, and yet the mainstream media is going to log them as some heroes."
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