DACA Recipient to Texas AG Paxton: ‘No Human Is Illegal. We Fought for DACA. And We Won It.’

On Tuesday afternoon, United We Dream posted the following Facebook video from Houston, which shows Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient Damaris Gonzalez asking Texas attorney general Ken Paxton why he plans to take legal action against the Trump administration to rescind the DACA program.

A few seconds into the video, we hear an exchange between Gonzalez and Paxton (this is what we heard on the video, which was inaudible at times):

GONZALEZ: My name is Damaris and I am a DACA recipient.
PAXTON: Wow.
GONZALEZ: My question is, what are you trying to deport me?
PAXTON: I’m actually trying to make sure that the President of the United States follows [inaudible]. It’s up to Congress to make the rules.
GONZALEZ: Why are you trying to break up families like mine.
PAXTON: I’m not. I’m asking the President of the United States to follow the law.
GONZALEZ: Why are you trying to criminalize over hundreds of thousands of [inaudible] people like me?
PAXTON: I’m not.
GONZALEZ: DACA has provided physical and security and stability for me and my daughters’ assistance…
PAXTON: I’m not saying whether it is a good or a bad idea, what I’m saying is that [inaudible] it’s unconstitutional the way the President [inaudible]. You can’t do that. You can’t make up law. That’s what he [Obama] did. Did you understand that? Do you understand the law?
GONZALEZ: DACA for me has opened doors for me, for myself and my family…
PAXTON: I’m not saying that it’s not a good policy. What I’m saying is, you understand that we have a Constitution, if we don’t follow the Constitution, it ruins the whole country.
GONZALEZ: No human is illegal. We fought for DACA. And we won it. And we will protect it.

“With his threat, Paxton is  attacking me, 800,000+ people and our families. I looked him right in the eye and told him that no human being is illegal, that this is the fight for our lives and we are not backing down,” Gonzalez said later in a United We Dream press release. “He refused to take responsibility for the consequences of his actions. He couldn’t even acknowledge that the removal of DACA would hurt people like me and gave me empty excuses. Honestly, it felt awesome to confront a man who has caused so much fear in so many people. I hope that everyone with DACA and all people who care about immigrants and the future of this country rise up and say enough is enough. This is our home and we are here to stay!”

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas said in a press release that it and other ACLU affiliates “filed open records requests today demanding copies of any communications between the Texas Office of the Attorney General and the federal government regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (‘DACA’) program.”

“DACA protects the constitutional rights of hundreds of thousands of young Americans who came to this country as children and know no home but the United States,” said Edgar Saldivar, senior staff attorney of the ACLU of Texas. “These young men and women are dedicated students, industrious workers and responsible members of their communities; to put them at risk of deportation to countries that they do not know would be both unwise and unjust. Both the courts and the American people have expressed their strong approval of DACA. Any attempt to end it should be made open to public debate and discussion.​”

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