Open Letter to AG Paxton Regarding DACA Lawsuit

Dear Attorney General Ken Paxton, 

Last year I wrote you a letter urging you to drop your lawsuit that is now threatening to end DACA. This past weekend leaders in the Texas business community filed a legal brief outlining the numerous negative impacts your lawsuit could have on their businesses and the Texas economy. The brief asks the federal judge considering the case to deny your lawsuit. 

Your lawsuit to overturn DACA is a big mistake.

Evidently you are convinced that opposing DACA is good for you politically. We did not elect you to practice politics. We elected you to use good judgement and to make sound decisions that benefit Texans.

Instead of opposing DACA, Texas should follow President Trump’s lead in calling for legislation to allow the 800,000 DACA recipients and the one million additional eligible “Dreamers” who are currently living in the shadows the opportunity to earn their legal status.

Dismantling DACA before it’s replaced with a legislative solution and removing the protections from deportation for its recipients who have been living, working, and paying taxes in Texas for years would be a costly move. 

According to the amicus brief filed on behalf of business associations, Chambers of Commerce, and companies with significant presence in Texas:

  • ​ Approximately 1,000 Dreamers are employed as public servants in Texas alone, working as critical first responders such as police officers and fire fighters, as well as public school teachers (not including post-secondary teachers or teachers’ assistants).

  • ​ If Dreamers lost the deferred action status granted under the DACA guidelines, it would result in a $460 billion loss to the United States’ gross domestic product over the next decade, more than $6 billion in annual economic activity to the State of Texas, and a loss of more than $2 billion of annual economic activity in the Greater Houston Region.

  • ​ Nationally, nearly 8% of Dreamers over the age of twenty-five reported starting their own businesses after receiving deferred action under the DACA guidelines.

  • ​ In 2018, Texans eligible to be considered for deferred action under DACA guidelines (and, as a result, eligible for work authorization) are expected to contribute approximately $244,686,000 in state and local taxes.

  • ​ DACA has also made it possible for Texas’s Dreamers to participate fully in the Texas economy as consumers, which benefits Amici and their members, as well as the Texas economy. In 2015, Texans eligible to be considered for deferred action under DACA had more than $2.5 billion in disposable household income after subtracting federal, state, and local taxes.

As I discussed last week, workforce shortages are already negatively impacting Texas businesses and threatening our nation’s economic growth. Many DACA kids are right here in Texas working and contributing as part of our workforce. Thanks to the DACA policy, most of them now have work permits and are legally employed. Most importantly, they are paying taxes and are positively identified!

Revoking their legal status and attempting to deport them will hurt us. Employers will lose a large number of skilled workers at a time when they are already unable to find enough workers. They will no longer pump money into our communities. They will no longer pay taxes, or buy food and clothing and automobiles. What about their car loans, mortgages, or rent? A lot of them have student loans. Do you actually expect them to continue paying those loans?

I am in support of and stand with the Texas business community in their brief asking Judge Andrew Hanen to deny your lawsuit, and I pray that you will withdraw it before he has a chance to rule on it August 8th.  May God continue to bless America.

Sincerely yours, Norman E. Adams
Co-founder
Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy

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