photo by Daniel Ramirez
DACA supporters promised to sue on behalf of Dreamers and they delivered. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court to block President Trump’s plan to end DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that gave 800,000 undocumented young people temporary legal status.
The lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of New York asked the court to prevent Trump’s order eliminating the program from going into effect. The lawsuit charges that the president issued an unconstitutional order that deprives people of their rights. It said the White House action reflects “a culmination of President Trump’s oft-stated commitments . . . to punish and disparage people with Mexican roots.”
President Obama established DACA in 2012 to help young immigrants make a good life for themselves in the United States. Obama’s executive order took the pressure off many of those brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents before they turned sixteen and allowed them to apply for legal status and work permits. Even with DACA, they needed to renew their application every two years. Under the Trump order, which goes into effect in six months, no one will get a renewal. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service will no longer accept first-time applications for DACA.
After he eliminated DACA, Trump called on Congress to draft legislation to help these young people. But it’s not clear what will happen.
The lawsuits could help.
Trump’s plan is “cruel, shortsighted, inhumane and driven by a personal bias against Mexicans and Latinos,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said.
States in the lawsuit include: New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
California, with largest DACA population of about 220,000, plans to file a separate lawsuit, according to Bethany Lesser, a spokeswoman for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.