Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sent a letter to the Trump Administration, giving it three months to get rid of the Obama era program that allows young people who came to the country as children with their illegal immigrant parents to remain in the U.S. as legal residents, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Paxton says the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is illegal, and he told U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a letter that if the program isn't ended by September 15, Texas and at least nine other states will sue to have it overturned.
DACA operates on the assumption that people who illegally crossed the border as children committed no offense, just like officials wouldn't file charges against a baby who was in a carseat while his parents robbed a bank.
Supporters of what is often called the 'Dreamer' program say these individuals know no other country than the U.S., have no ties to their native country whatsoever, and frequently don't even speak Spanish or the native language of their parents' home country.
But Paxton may have another motive in mind.
"The message this sends to Hispanics in Texas is a very negative one," said Mark Jones, the chair of the political science department at Rice University.
But he says it isn't September 15th that Paxton is looking at...it is next March's primary election date.
"The message it sends to Republican primary voters, however, is a very positive one."
Jones says as Paxton prepares for a felony securities fraud trial in the fall, this is an effort to appeal to his conservative base
."Attorney General Paxton's principal goal right now is not with the general election voters, who are largely Hispanic, but with the voters in the March Republican primary, who include not many Hispanics."
Jones says about the time of the deadline Paxton set all of the news will be about his trial, so if he can get the image as someone who fights for conservatives values, like border security, that will be what Republican primary voters will remember.
He says with the electorate so divided and Republicans still in the ascendancy in Texas, the real race for Texas Attorney General in 2018 will be the Republican primary.