The serious game of lawsuits, to protect 800,000 young immigrants, began within hours after the Trump administration announced an end to DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. And President Obama, who created the program in 2012, took to Facebook where he called Trump’s action unnecessary, political and wrong.
Obama said, “Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be.
“This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper., To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong.”
Obama called on members of Congress, “to protect these young people.”
But action in the courts may make a difference. Martín Battala Vidal, a young immigrant, and the advocacy group Make The Road New York (MRNY) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. They argue that President Trump’s elimination of DACA violates federal law and the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee.
They asked the court to allow them to amend a 2016 lawsuit that challenged the Texas case that blocked Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). The National Immigration Law Center and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School helped draft the suit.
In California, where the largest number of DACA young people live, more than 220,000 according to the Public Policy Institute of California, California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra promised legal action to challenge Trump’s decision. He said ending the program was unconstitutional because the young immigrants followed the rules and Trump’s decision undermines their right to due process.
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo
and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said they will sue to protect the Dreamers.
Nearly 40,000 DACA recipients live in New York State. “We should not and cannot sit on the sidelines and watch the lives of these young people ruined.” Cuomo said.
President Obama created DACA with an executive order and it gave undocumented immigrants, brought here by their parents before their sixteenth birthdays, the opportunity to apply for legal status and work permits. It put an end to hiding and worrying about the possibility of deportation and it gave them hope.
President Trump said those with DACA status now will have a six month grace period and asked Congress to come up with a permanent program.
In a written statement he said. “I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.”