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Case Name State of Texas v. Nielsen IM-TX-0049
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-00068 ( S.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Take Care
Attorney Organization MALDEF
Case Summary
On May 1, 2018, Texas and six other states brought actions for declaratory and injunctive relief against the United States and various officials in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The plaintiffs, represented by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas, claimed that ... read more >
On May 1, 2018, Texas and six other states brought actions for declaratory and injunctive relief against the United States and various officials in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The plaintiffs, represented by the Office of the Attorney General of Texas, claimed that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, created by a 2012 executive action by the Obama Administration, violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the Take Care Clause of the Constitution. The plaintiffs claimed that the DACA program granted lawful presence to millions of unlawfully present aliens without congressional authorization. They sought to preliminarily enjoin the government from issuing or renewing any DACA permits in the future and to declare that DACA violated the procedural and substantive aspects of the APA.

On May 8, 2018, DACA recipients and state of New Jersey moved to intervene as defendants and Judge Andrew S. Hanen granted the motion on May 15. The defendant then moved to dismiss the case on May 29 without prejudice or transfer the case to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, where a similar case was being litigated. Judge Hanen denied the motion to dismiss on May 30.

The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on June 25, 2018, and added the state of Kansas and two governors as plaintiffs. The amended complaint maintained the identical allegations and sought the identical reliefs as the original complaint. On July 5, the defendants moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

On August 31, Judge Hanen denied the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction. The court found that the plaintiffs had shown a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim related to both the procedural and substantive aspects of the APA and that they had made a clear showing of irreparable injury. However, the court denied the injunction because it found that the plaintiffs had delayed seeking this relief for years, the balance of private interests fell in favor of denying of the relief, and implementing the relief was contrary to the public interest. The court did not rule on the whether the DACA program violated the Constitution’s Take Care Clause. 328 F. Supp. 3d 662, 740 (S.D. Tex. 2018).

On February 4, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on all counts. In the defendants’ reply, they agreed that the plaintiffs are entitled to summary judgment on their substantive claim under the APA. However, the defendant opposed summary judgment on the procedural claim under the APA and the Take Care Clause claim.

On November 22, 2019, Judge Hanen issued an order staying the motion until the Supreme Court ruled on cases involving the rescinding of DACA (Regents of Univ. of California v. DHS, NAACP v. Trump, and Wolf v. Vidal). These cases had been heard at oral argument three days prior on November 19. Even though they had been focused on the question of DACA's rescission, the Justices had touched on issues relevant to its issuance. Judge Hanen therefore agreed with the defendant-intervenors that the Supreme Court's opinion could potentially resolve this case. 2019 WL 6255351.

On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court issued its opinion for Regents of Univ. of California v. DHS, holding that DHS's 2017 order rescinding DACA was arbitrary and capricious. Judge Hanen ordered the parties to compile a joint status report on how this would affect the case by July 24.

On August 21, 2020, Judge Hanen denied plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. Although he dismissed the defendant-intervenors' arguments that the Regents decision implied the need for additional discovery and supplemental briefings, he did hold that it may impact the legal issues here and that a "clean slate" would be the best way to proceed. Consequently, he denied the motion without prejudice and gave the plaintiff states leave to file a new motion for summary judgment. 2020 WL 6440497.

The plaintiff states filed their new motion on October 9, 2020, essentially reiterating their original motion. The defendant-intervenors also moved for summary judgment on November 6, 2020, claiming that plaintiffs lack standing. The Court heard oral arguments for these motions on December 22, 2020.

On the day of his inauguration (January 20, 2021), President Biden signed a memorandum directing DHS and the Attorney General "to preserve and fortify DACA." Two days later, defendant-intervenors notified the court that the federal defendants would be taking steps related to the DACA memorandum and shifting their position on the case. The defendant-intervenors requested a status conference to discuss how President Biden’s memorandum would impact the substantive and procedural aspects of this litigation. Considering both the Presidential memorandum and that the House of Representatives passed the American Dream and Promise Act, an act that would create a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, Judge Hanen granted defendant-intervenors request for a status conference.

The parties discussed the possible impact of the American Dream and Promise Act on the litigation at a status conference on March 30. 2021. Both parties filed supplemental briefs on April 9, 2021.

On July 16, 2021, Judge Hanen granted the plaintiff-states' motion for summary judgment and denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment. 2021 WL 3025857. Judge Hanen held that DHS was required to undergo notice and comment rulemaking in order to adopt DACA. Because DHS failed to engage in this process, Judge Hanen held that DACA violated the APA and it never gained status as a legally binding policy. Additionally, Judge Hanen held that Congress did not grant DHS the statutory authority to enact DACA, so even if the procedural APA requirements were satisfied, the agency action would still violate the substantive provisions of the APA. Also on July 16, Judge Hanen issued a permanent injunction vacating the DACA program and prohibiting its continued operation. 2021 WL 3022434.

The defendants appealed the court's decision to the Fifth Circuit on September 10, 2021. The case remains ongoing.

Sichun Liu - 06/17/2020
Jack Kanarek - 04/09/2021
Justin Hill - 09/11/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Juveniles
Immigration/Border
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) The United States
Plaintiff Description Eight states and two governors.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations MALDEF
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2021 - n/a
Filed 05/01/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Texas v. United States
MALDEF
Date: Mar. 29, 2021
By: MALDEF
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 25, 2021
By: Executive Office of the President
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
S.D. Tex.
09/10/2021
1:18-cv-00068
IM-TX-0049-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D. Tex.
05/01/2018
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-TX-0049-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Tex.
06/25/2018
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 104]
IM-TX-0049-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Tex.
08/31/2018
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 318] (328 F.Supp.3d 662)
IM-TX-0049-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Tex.
11/22/2019
Order [ECF# 447] (2019 WL 6255351)
IM-TX-0049-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Tex.
08/21/2020
Order [ECF# 473] (2020 WL 6440497)
IM-TX-0049-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Tex.
04/09/2021
Defendant-Intervenors' Supplemental Brief Regarding the Impact of Recent Developments in the Legislative & Executive Branches [ECF# 568]
IM-TX-0049-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Tex.
04/09/2021
Federal Defendants' Supplemental Brief in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and Request For A Stay [ECF# 569]
IM-TX-0049-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Tex.
07/16/2021
Opinion [ECF# 575] (2021 WL 3025857)
IM-TX-0049-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: Westlaw
S.D. Tex.
07/16/2021
Order of Permanent Injunction [ECF# 576] (2021 WL 3022434)
IM-TX-0049-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: Westlaw
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Judges Hanen, Andrew S. (S.D. Tex.) show/hide docs
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Plaintiff's Lawyers Biggs, Adam Arthur (Texas) show/hide docs
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Bitter, Adam Nicholas (Texas) show/hide docs
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Disher, Todd Lawrence (Texas) show/hide docs
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Moreno, Cristina M (Texas) show/hide docs
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Peroyea, Philip T (Texas) show/hide docs
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Starr, Brantley David (Texas) show/hide docs
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Toth, Michael C. (Texas) show/hide docs
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Defendant's Lawyers Apter, Rachel Wainer (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Avila, Alejandra (Texas) show/hide docs
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Boynton, Brian M (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Dolinsky, Nicholas J (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Feigenbaum, Jeremy (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Flentje, August E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Garcia, Carlos Moctezuma (Texas) show/hide docs
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Goldsmith, Aaron S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Gregory, Katherine Anne (New York) show/hide docs
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Hallward-Driemeier, Douglas Harry (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Herrera, Ernest I (Texas) show/hide docs
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Hollander, Jeremy (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Hu, Daniel David (Texas) show/hide docs
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Hulett, Denise M. (California) show/hide docs
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Juzdan, Paul H (New York) show/hide docs
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Levine, Kenneth S (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Moramarco, Glenn J (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Orta, Priscilla (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Peachey, William Charles (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Perales, Nina (Texas) show/hide docs
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Persyn, Mary Kelly (California) show/hide docs
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Robins, Jeffrey S (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Salmon, John Paul (Texas) show/hide docs
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Saxena, Mayur P (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Sheehan, Tim (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Shumate, Brett (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Vito, Ben De (New York) show/hide docs
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Walker, James Joseph (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Wallace, Stephen P (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Other Lawyers Alger, Maureen P. (California) show/hide docs
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Amend, Andrew W. (New York) show/hide docs
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Badlani, Chirag (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Bhabha, Ishan K (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Brounell, Geoffrey Stuart (New York) show/hide docs
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Coston, William D. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Davidson, Jeffrey Michael (California) show/hide docs
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DeGroote, Jessa (New York) show/hide docs
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Ertas, Alper (California) show/hide docs
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Fresco, Michael N. (New York) show/hide docs
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Garza, Jose (Texas) show/hide docs
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Goldman, Lauren R (New York) show/hide docs
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Joseph, Lawrence J (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Kolodin, Zachary J. F. (New York) show/hide docs
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Kolodner, Jonathan Samuel (New York) show/hide docs
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Leatherbury, Thomas S. (Texas) show/hide docs
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Li, Joan Renxin (California) show/hide docs
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Lin, Karen (New York) show/hide docs
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Lynch, Mark H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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McMahon, Michael (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
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Metlitsky, Anton (New York) show/hide docs
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Pincus, Andrew J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Ramon, Sofia A (Texas) show/hide docs
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Saad, Martin L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Schlafly, Andrew L. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Shafiqullah, Hasan (New York) show/hide docs
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Shebaya, Sirine (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Sheikh, Sameer Parvez (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Sherman, Monique R (California) show/hide docs
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Sokoler, Jennifer B (New York) show/hide docs
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Yagura, Ryan Ken (California) show/hide docs
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Yun, Jennifer J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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