May 4, 2018

Texas and six other states filed a lawsuit this week challenging the constitutionality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. Here is a timeline prepared by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) of significant dates in the history of DACA.

June 15, 2012: The Obama administration announces the DACA initiative, which allows undocumented young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to temporarily remain in the U.S. and obtain work visas for two years.

November 20, 2014: The administration moves to expand DACA and introduces Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), an initiative that would allow parents of U.S. citizen or permanent resident children to temporarily remain in the U.S. and obtain work permits.

December 3, 2014: Texas and 25 other states ask a federal court in Texas to block implementation of DAPA and the expansion of DACA. That lawsuit is known as Texas v. United States.

February 16, 2015: U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen issues a preliminary injunction blocking DAPA and expanded DACA from being implemented. The U.S. Department of Justice appeals the decision.

April 17, 2015: The United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit hears oral argument in the appeal of the injunction.

May 26, 2015: A divided three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit upholds the injunction blocking DAPA from being implemented.

November 9, 2015: The Fifth Circuit overturns Hanen's decision to deny MALDEF’s request to intervene in Texas v. United States on behalf of three Texas mothers who sought to apply for DAPA.

January 19, 2016: The U.S. Supreme Court grants the Obama administration’s petition for a writ of certiorari, agreeing to consider whether the injunction against DAPA was properly granted.

April 2016: The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral argument in Texas v. United States. MALDEF, representing the lone intervenors in the case, presents oral argument on behalf of the three mothers.

June 23, 2016: The U.S. Supreme Court announces without detail a 4-4 deadlock of the justices in United States v. Texas. As a result, Judge Hanen's preliminary injunction remains, blocking the implementation of DAPA.

June 15, 2017: Following many months of a stay in the case for the new administration to decide its position, Texas refuses to agree to further delay. In response, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security officially rescinds DAPA, ending an initiative that existed on paper only.

June 29, 2017: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine states involved in the 2015 lawsuit threaten to amend the DAPA lawsuit to challenge DACA if the 2012 initiative is not rescinded by Sept. 5. The state's request is at odds with Texas' assertions throughout the case that it was not challenging the original DACA initiative.

July 28, 2017: MALDEF asks a federal court in Brownsville, Texas to dismiss the 2015 lawsuit filed by Texas against DAPA because the case became moot once the initiative was rescinded.

August 31, 2017: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reiterates that the state has given the Trump administration an arbitrary Sept. 5 deadline to rescind DACA or face a lawsuit. The deadline does not require the administration to take action.

September 1, 2017: Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, one of the signatories of the earlier threat letter, issues a new letter signaling that his state will not seek to challenge DACA in court after all. He urges congressional leaders to move swiftly to address the issue.

September 5, 2017: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA. The government sets an arbitrary six-month deadline – March 5, 2018 – to phase out the initiative.

January 9, 2018: Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issues a preliminary injunction ordering the federal government to leave DACA in place pending resolution of legal challenges.

January 18, 2018: The Trump administration attempts to circumvent the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by filing a petition for a writ of certoriari requesting the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a direct appeal of Judge Alsup's decision.

February 13, 2018: Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issues a second nationwide injunction blocking the government's attempt to end DACA, ruling that the Trump administration's attempt to repeal the initiative was "arbitrary and capricious."

February 26, 2018: The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear a direct appeal of the January 9 district court ruling.

April 24, 2018: Judge John D. Bates of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia says in a ruling that the Trump Administration "failed adequately to explain its conclusion that (DACA) was unlawful" and orders the government to resume accepting new applications. He gives the Department of Homeland Security 90 days to better explain the administration's basis for rescinding DACA.

May 1, 2018: Seven states, led by Texas, file a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas challenging DACA. The case comes nearly six years after the initiative was put in place.

May 15, 2018: Judge Hanen grants MALDEF’s motion to intervene in the Texas-led lawsuit on behalf of 22 DACA recipients who argued that they would be inadequately represented by the Trump administration officials named as defendants in the litigation, given the administration’s public opposition to DACA.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

Copyright 2009 MALDEF, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund