Attorneys general from 20 states and Washington, DC are preparing a legal challenge to the Trump administration over its announcement that it would wind down the DACA program for young undocumented immigrants brought into the U.S. as children.
The Democratic attorneys general have issued statements and public letters to the Trump administration on Tuesday, following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement on Tuesday that the administration would end the deportation deferral and work permit program on Tuesday, according to The Hill.
“President Trump has turned his back on hundreds of thousands of children and young Americans who came forward and put their trust in government,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. “But in terminating DACA, the Trump administration has also violated the Constitution and federal law. This Administration has chosen to ignore what American voters have said they think is right. Nearly 80 percent of voters want to protect the legal status of Dreamers. Ending the program is devastating not just for recipients, but for our economy. California businesses would lose more than a billion dollars in turnover costs.”
Becerra previously led a group of attorney generals in July who sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to maintain DACA.
“The consequences of rescinding DACA would be severe, not just for the hundreds of thousands of young people who rely on the program—and for their employers, schools, universities, and families—but for the country’s economy as a whole. For example, in addition to lost tax revenue, American businesses would face billions in turnover costs, as employers would lose qualified workers whom they have trained and in whom they have invested,” that letter read.
The other AGs who signed onto the letter included those from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Washington, D.C.
I am carefully reviewing the President’s #DACA directive and am in communication with fellow Attorneys General and state leaders. 1/
— Josh Shapiro (@JoshShapiroPA) September 5, 2017
Attorneys General Bob Ferguson of Washington and Eric Schneiderman of New York also stated their opposition to ending DACA ahead of the decision on Tuesday.
“If President Trump follows through on his reported decision to cancel DACA after a six-month delay, the Washington Attorney General’s Office will file suit to halt this cruel and illegal policy and defend DACA recipients,” Ferguson said. “We have been working closely with legal teams around the country, and we expect to be joined by other states in this action.”
Schneiderman and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a joint statement condemning the decision.
Pres. Trump's decision to end #DACA would be cruel, gratuitous, and devastating to tens of thousands of NYers – I will sue to protect them.
— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) September 4, 2017
“Ending this policy represents an assault on the values that built this state and this nation. The president’s action would upend the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people who have only ever called America their home, including roughly 42,000 New Yorkers,” the joint statement said. “It will rip families apart, sow havoc in our communities and force innocent people — our neighbors, our friend, and our relatives — to live in fear.”
Masachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey also said she planned to join the legal challenges to the Trump administration’s decision, and noted that DACA has survived challenges in court before, despite Sessions claiming it was unconstitutional.
“Dreamers are Americans,” she said. “They may not be citizens, but they sure are Americans… My question to the President and to the U.S. Attorney General is, ‘whose side are you on?'”