Arizona joins 12 other red states asking Supreme Court to end DACA program (Updated)


As Adam Serwer wrote, The Cruelty Is the Point:

Trump’s only true skill is the con; his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men, and his only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty. It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him, in shared scorn for those they hate and fear: immigrants, black voters, feminists, and treasonous white men who empathize with any of those who would steal their birthright. The president’s ability to execute that cruelty through word and deed makes them euphoric. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel proud, it makes them feel happy, it makes them feel united. And as long as he makes them feel that way, they will let him get away with anything, no matter what it costs them.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and Governor Doug Ducey who must approve the state of Arizona filing lawsuits, are acting on this “cruelty, and the delight it brings them” in servility to their “Dear Leader” Donald Trump.

The Arizona Mirror reports, Arizona joins other states calling on Supreme Court to overturn DACA:

Arizona joined 12 other states this week that asked the Supreme Court to roll back Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), 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. [Courts in San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C., have blocked the government from shutting it down.] 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 [i.e., DAPA] – 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.

See: Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, Trump v. NAACP and McAleenan v. Vidal (Argument Tuesday, Nov. 12): Whether courts can review the decision to end DACA; and, if so, whether the decision to end DACA was lawful.

UPDATE: It’s difficult to square Governor Ducey’s action here with his supposed support for a discounted tuition rate for Dreamers at the state’s universities earlier this week. Gov. Doug Ducey cheers decision to give undocumented Arizona students a tuition discount:

Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday applauded the Arizona Board of Regents’ recent decision to offer discounted tuition to Arizona high school graduates ineligible for the in-state rate, including unauthorized immigrants.

In an interview with KJZZ host Mark Brodie, posted online Tuesday, the Republican leader said he believes that “somebody that graduates from an Arizona high school is an Arizona kid.”

“I congratulate the regents for a first step around this,” Ducey said. “I do believe that if you are here and graduate from an Arizona high school, you should have the same opportunities that anyone else that graduates from Arizona high schools has.”

The discounted rate, about $16,500, still costs nearly $6,000 more than the in-state amount paid by students who have legal immigration status and meet other residency requirements.

Ducey didn’t elaborate on what he would like to see come after the regents’ “first step.” The Governor’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Regents first established the discounted rate — 150% of in-state tuition — for migrant students with legal status through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

At about $16,500, it costs substantially more than the $11,000 in-state rate at Arizona’s state universities but much less than the $30,000 out-of-state rate.

Brodie asked Ducey if he was confident the regents’ decision was “legally OK,” given a ballot measure approved by Arizona voters in 2006.

Proposition 300 prohibited people without lawful immigration status from getting tuition waivers, grants, scholarships or financial aid subsidized by state dollars.

Regents argue the 150% rate does not violate the proposition because it covers the cost for the students to attend the universities without subsidizing their education.

We live in a litigious society, and … it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if someone brought suit,” Ducey said. “I think the regents did their best to design this so … that they follow the law.

“I think we need to continue to follow the law, but we also want to make certain that Arizona high school graduates don’t have to leave our state to pursue opportunity.”

Sounds to me that Governor Ducey is trying to have it both ways. The ultimate result of the DACA program being overturned under a Trump administration is a ready-made list of undocumented immigrants – DACA eligible recipients – who can be rounded up by ICE and deported to a country, the vast majority of them have no memory of or familiarity. That is terrifying and cruel.


  1. President Trump suggested on Friday that if he prevails in a Supreme Court case next term, then he would be open to a bipartisan deal in Congress on the DACA program that shields young undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children from deportation. “Trump suggests he’s open to DACA legislation if he prevails in Supreme Court case”,

    Lower courts have said that Trump’s decision to terminate DACA was based on faulty legal reasoning and that the administration has failed to provide a solid rationale for ending it.

    • Trump is lying about making deals on immigration. Stephen Miller is the head of the US Department of Racism and Hate and he makes all the decisions.

      The GOP needs to go read their Bible’s, I think they’ll be in for a shock.


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