WASHINGTON, DC- This fall, the Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in United States v. Texas, a case in which a coalition of twenty-six states including Texas, challenged President Obama's executive action that provided temporary relief to nearly four million undocumented aliens from the threat of deportation and enable them to apply for work permits and associated benefits.
In November of 2014, the White House announced the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Residents (DAPA), a program that applies to undocumented individuals who are parents of US citizens or permanent residents and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that applies to undocumented youths who came to the US before the age of 16.
However, in February 2015 and before the programs were implemented, a federal judge in the Southern District of Texas granted the states' preliminary injunction application, effectively enjoining DHS/USCIS from implementing the programs.
One of the issues Texas has to overcome in the Supreme Court case is whether it has standing to challenge DAPA, a federal law. In response to questions by the Justices at the hearing, Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller argued that Texas has standing to bring a challenge to immigration law, a federal matter, because DAPA might cost Texas millions of dollars if the DAPA-eligible aliens applied for driver licenses in the state.
While the Obama administration did not present any evidence at the hearing to undercut the Texas Solicitor General's claim, it is clear that if Texans can ride a horse up to the Starbucks Drive Thru window, the cost of issuing driver licenses to residents can't be in the millions.
However, in the spirit of fair and impartial reporting, The LEEK sent its best editorial staff to investigate this claim and what else might be higher on the Texas' list of expenditures than issuing driver licenses to its residents. Here is what we found out:
While it is a well known fact that Texas women like their big hair as much as the men like their cowboy hats and boots, few realize that the state's Office of Tourism and Heritage financially supports those big hairdos in the form of hair spray subsidies. That's right. Should DAPA and DACA are implemented, it could cost the state a few hundreds of dollars to subsidize female Mexican immigrants' big hair. Everyone knows these women have long thick hair and would likely take advantage of the subsidy to have big hair. Just look at any picture or portrait of Frieda Kahlo.
Since every woman and her mother had, or will have competed in some pageant or other and at some point of their life or other, the state's Office of Beautification is expected to organize a few extra pageants at additional costs to the state.
Texas' third highest expenditure is in energy - but not to keep those SUVs and pick up trucks running like you'd think. It is to keep the state cool by installing outdoor fans. While Solicitor General Keller did not make this claim before the Supreme Court, he could have argued that Texas has standing to challenge DAPA because it would cost the state more money to keep all the "extra" residents cool by installing extra outdoor fans.
Clearly, there is no need for more traffic cops. There are no traffic cops in Texas, obviously. This should be considered to be a saving for Texas.
But oh yes, we did.