Dallas County Commissioners Court

Dallas County commissioners voted today (Tuesday, March 31) to sign onto an amicus brief today supporting the U.S. government’s position on DACA, the deferred action for childhood arrivals that President Barack Obama initiated by executive order.

County Judge Clay Jenkins said Dallas County ranks as one of the top five counties nationally in number of people who may potentially benefit from the program. Taken as a whole, the DFW area ranks first in number of people who benefit compared to any county.

DACA permits undocumented immigrants who came into the U.S. as children before a certain date to stay and work in the country legally. The lawsuit was brought by Texas with support of about half the states.

Houston, El Paso and Travis County have already signed onto the brief. About 50 city and county governments including New York City have already signed onto the brief. Jenkins said he expected about 100 signatures before the brief is submitted to the court.

The motion passed by a 4-1 margin. Commissioner Mike Cantrell, the court’s only Republican member, objected at first because the commission had not seen the brief in its final form. Jenkins countered that briefs always change up until the time of their submission.

Cantrell then objected saying immigration should be debated in Congress and called DACA an “extreme overreach by the president.” He said with 254 counties in Texas, only three were signing the brief.