Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, may be on the verge of pulling the biggest legal stunt a state has ever attempted on a sitting president. And on a president of his same party, no less — one who has built his brand and brief time in office around being a master deal-maker.
In a letter Paxton addressed to Jeff Sessions in late June, he and attorneys general from nine other states, plus the governor of Idaho, gave Donald Trump until September 5 to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The initiative, better known as DACA, has for the past five years granted some 800,000 undocumented immigrants — all of them brought to the U.S. as children — a temporary reprieve from deportation and work authorization.
Nothing about Paxton’s missive is enforceable, which is to say Trump and his lawyers have no legal obligation to do anything with it. And yet somehow the letter has taken on a life of its own, worrying DREAMers — as DACA beneficiaries are known — and showing up in hundreds of articles and editorials lamenting the president’s predicament on the program’s future. As if somehow he is between a rock and a hard place and has no choice but to end DACA. God forbid Texas make good on his threat and sue a friendly administration.
This is a false choice. Texas’s threat lacks merit, is internally inconsistent, and there’s little evidence that it was dreamed up for any other reason than political grandstanding. If Trump is the grand negotiator that he claims he…
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