State joined by Minnesota, Maryland, and Maine in lawsuit standing up for Dreamers
East County News Service
September 11, 2017 (Sacramento) -- Today, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, joined by the attorneys general for Minnesota, Maryland and Maine, filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative (DACA). The four States filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California arguing that the Trump Administration violated the Constitution and federal laws when it rescinded DACA.
“The DACA initiative has allowed more than 800,000 Dreamers, children brought to this country without documentation, to come out of the shadows and become successful and productive Americans. One-in-four of those DACA Dreamers know California as home, and it’s no coincidence that our great state is the sixth largest economy in the world,” said Attorney General Becerra in a press statement.
He adds, “In California, we don't just support and value them – we fight for them. And it’s important that we get this right. We will not permit Donald Trump to destroy the lives of young immigrants who make California and our country stronger. The court of public opinion has already spoken: the vast majority of Americans agree Dreamers should be here to stay; so now it's time to fight in every way we can – and on multiple fronts – in the court of law.”
The DACA program was created via executive order by President Barack Obama, after Congress proved unwilling to enact comprehensive reform. Multiple states have previously sued to challenge the legality of Obama’s order, contending that only Congress has the power to enact immigration laws.
Facing threats of further legal action if he did not repeal DACA, Trump issued an executive order to terminate the program unless Congress passes legislation within six months to spare dreamers from deportation. This goes back on a promise he previously made to dreamers that he would show compassion toward them.
But now the administration faces new litigation, this time challenging the legality of using information obtained when young people registered for DACA believe it would protect them, to instead find and deport them
In the complaint, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, and Attorney General Becerra describe the several violations by the federal government of the Constitution and federal laws designed to ensure that our government treats everyone fairly and transparently. Among other things, the complaint alleges:
- The threatened misuse of sensitive information provided in good faith by DACA grantees to the government is fundamentally unfair, violating the Fifth Amendment’s due process guarantee. The Trump Administration’s termination of DACA may lead to the Administration reneging on the promise the federal government made to Dreamers and their employers that information they gave to the government for their participation in the program will not be used to deport them or prosecute their employers.
- The federal Regulatory Flexibility Act also requires the government to analyze the effects of a proposed change on small businesses, many of which are owned by, or employ, Dreamers, and to take comments on the proposed change. The Administration completely ignored these legal requirements.
- The termination of DACA directly affects substantive rights of almost 800,000 people and indirectly affects millions more, as well as small and large businesses, non-profits, and the towns, cities and states that these individuals call home. The federal Administrative Procedure Act requires such a change to be made for sound reasons, and for the public to be able to make formal comments on it before it’s made into law. Whether or not the initiative was implemented through notice and comment rulemaking, it cannot be terminated without it.
Roughly a quarter of all DACA grantees, or more than 200,000 young people, live in California, so our state will have the strongest impacts if DACA is repealed and such a high number of young students and workers are forced to return to a homeland many don’t even remember.
In July, Attorney General Becerra led 20 attorneys general in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to maintain and defend DACA. In the letter, the attorneys general explain how DACA has benefited their states and the nation as a whole and call on Trump to fulfill his public commitment to Dreamers, whom he called “incredible kids” who should be treated “with heart.”
A copy of the lawsuit can be viewed here: https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/attachments/press_releases/DACA%20Lawsuit.pdf