Texas v. United States

787 F.3d 733 (5th Cir. 2016)


In 2012, Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), setting forth how officers should exercise 'prosecutorial discretion' before enforcing 'immigration laws against certain young people. Of the at least 1.2 million persons who qualify for DACA, approximately 636,000 have been accepted through 2014. In November 2014, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson instructed the same agencies to expand DACA. He 'directed USCIS to establish a process, similar to DACA,' known as DAPA. Deferred action does not confer any form of legal status in this country, much less citizenship, it does mean that, for a specified period of time, an individual is permitted to be lawfully present in the United States. That designation makes aliens who were not otherwise qualified for most federal public benefits eligible for 'social security retirement benefits, social security disability benefits, and health insurance under Part A of the Medicare program. Also, each person who applied for deferred action pursuant to the [DAPA] criteria was also eligible to apply for work authorization for the renewable three-year period of deferred action. Those aliens with work authorization were able to obtain a Social Security Number'; 'accrue quarters of covered employment'; and 'correct wage records to add prior covered employment within approximately three years of the year in which the wages were earned or in limited circumstances thereafter.' P maintains that DAPA recipients become eligible for driver's licenses and unemployment benefits. Of the approximately 11.3 million illegal aliens in the United States, 4.3 million are eligible for DAPA. Ps (26 states) sued to prevent implementation of the program. Ps claimed that DAPA is procedurally unlawful under the APA because it is a substantive rule that is required to undergo notice and comment, but DHS had not followed those procedures. Ps, assert that DAPA was substantively unlawful under the APA because DHS lacked the authority to implement the program even if it did follow the correct process. Ps contend that DAPA violated the President's constitutional duty to 'take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.' U.S. Const. art. II, § 3. The district court held that Texas (P) had standing because it would be required to issue driver's licenses to DAPA beneficiaries, and the costs of doing so would constitute a cognizable injury. The court issued a preliminary injunction and D appealed.