The Texas Lawsuit and the “Economic Harm” Argument

Post by Blaine Derck

A scarred quarter

As we continue to monitor the events surrounding the Texas lawsuit, an interesting and compelling legal argument has surfaced. You may recall that Judge Hanen found that the State of Texas showed economic harm  if executive action was implemented because of the costs related to providing drivers’ licenses to beneficiaries. Judge Hanen did not engage in a cost-benefit analysis at all, and indeed, reports indicate that the drivers’ license program in Texas always runs on a deficit for all prospective drivers. However, fourteen states and the District of Columbia filed a “friend of the court” brief, called an amicus brief, in support of the of the Department of Justice. These executive action supporters argue that their states will benefit, both economically and socially, if the new programs proceed, in the form of increased tax revenues and strengthening of the family unit.

We learned today that Judge Hanen has denied the Administration’s motion for an emergency stay of the injunction, and therefore we are still in a holding pattern as this case will proceed in the 5th Circuit. However, the “economic harm” argument will come up again in the 5th Circuit. We know that immigrants, their ability to legally work, and their protection from deportation are all good for the U.S. economy and social fabric of families and this country. As we continue to pray for implementation, as well as future, comprehensive immigration reform, stay tuned to the very solid arguments that welcoming the stranger is not only a morally defensible position, it is an economically defensible position as well.

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