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Border & Immigration

Attorneys Duke It Out Over DACA In Dallas

A lawsuit filed by ten Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents related to President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is under the microscope this week as a Texas judge overseeing the case determines if his court has jurisdiction.

The lawsuit contests DACA forces ICE agents to violate federal law when they do not place known undocumented immigrants into deportation proceedings.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services showed that by the end of March, 268,000 immigrants had been approved for Deferred Action. Nearly half a million have applied.

Nancy Juro, 24, of San Antonio was brought to the U.S. from Peru 17 years ago. After being approved for DACA she now has a Social Security Number, and is working towards a Texas driver’s license and a job. She says the process has been a surreal experience.

“But at the same time it’s bittersweet because I know that there are many who are not able to qualify for this, and this is not a permanent solution," Juro said.

The U.S. District Court in Dallas was chosen to hear the case as eight of the ten ICE agents work in the Lone Star State. In a ruling last month, Judge Reed O’Connor indicated the lawsuit has good standing.

Kris Kobach, who is the Kansas Secretary of State and author of anti-illegal immigration laws such as Arizona's SB 1070, is the plaintiff’s attorney.

“The judge ruled that the plaintiffs — the ICE agents — are likely to prevail in their claim that the DACA directive issued by Janet Napolitano violates federal law,” Kobach said.

The Justice Department however, is arguing the court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case. Additional briefs are due Monday on the jurisdiction issue and O’Connor could decide this week where this case will be heard.