According to The Washington Post, a group of attorneys general from 15 different states are filing a massive lawsuit in an attempt to stop President Trump from ending the DACA program, which was created to protect the children of undocumented immigrants living in the United States from deportation.
The suit has been filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York. The states listed as plaintiffs in the suit are: New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, along with the District of Columbia. The documentation directly accuses Trump of using the ending of DACA as an extension of explicitly racist policies and characterizes the move as part of Trump's “oft-stated commitments — whether personally held, stated to appease some portion of his constituency, or some combination thereof — to punish and disparage people with Mexican roots.”
The suit goes on to allege that Trump's proposal would damage states from the loss of taxes and other contributions from DACA recipients, AKA Dreamers.
“Rescinding DACA will cause harm to hundreds of thousands of the States’ residents, injure State-run colleges and universities, upset the States’ workplaces, damage the States’ economies, hurt State-based companies, and disrupt the States’ statutory and regulatory interests,” reads the suit.
Justice Department spokesman Devin M. O’Malley issued the following statement: “As the Attorney General said yesterday: ‘No greater good can be done for the overall health and well-being of our Republic, than preserving and strengthening the impartial rule of law.’ While the plaintiffs in today’s lawsuits may believe that an arbitrary circumvention of Congress is lawful, the Department of Justice looks forward to defending this Administration’s position.”
The announcement of the end of DACA had been made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday. The program effects around 800,000 individuals, many of whom potentially face deportation, despite having lived in the United States for most of their lives.
Legal experts say that the chances of lawsuits saving the program were likely to be difficult.
“Look, it’s a tough case,” said D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine. “We think there are enough references to his comments — both before he was president and while he was president — that illustrate a bias against Mexicans.”
“You still need a valid, a lawful justification to end the program,” added Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who characterized Trump's decision as “arbitrary and capricious.”
According to the suit, the cost of rescinding the program would cost New York state upward of $38.6 billion over the next 10 years.
Although Trump has said positive things about Dreamers in the past, his various on-the-record beliefs about Mexicans display “a long history of disparaging Mexicans, who comprise the vast majority of DACA grantees,” the suit alleges.
The suit adds that revoking DACA would violate components of the Fifth Amendment, along with the Administrative Procedure Act, which “prohibits federal agency action that is arbitrary, unconstitutional, and contrary to statute.”
Lastly, the suit asks a judge to stop Trump's decree, as well as prevent the government from using DACA recipients’ information -- which they submitted to the government voluntarily as part of the program -- to deport them if the program is revoked.
“We know that when bullies step up, you have to step to them and step to them quickly, and that’s what we’re here to do today,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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