Wednesday, April 24, 2019

16 Attorneys General file lawsuit to protect DREAMers and preserve DACA

“To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong.”

In response to President Donald Trump’s recent decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit on Wednesday along with 15 other Attorneys General to preserve the program while protecting DACA recipients, known as DREAMers. Given the president’s derogatory comments against Mexicans during the campaign, the Attorneys General cited Trump’s “personal anti-Mexican bias” while pointing out that 78 percent of DACA recipients consist of DREAMers of Mexican origin.

“Immigration is the lifeblood of New York State. The Trump administration’s decision to end DACA is cruel, inhumane, and devastating to the 42,000 New Yorkers who have been able to come out of the shadows and live a full life as a result of the program,” Schneiderman wrote in a recent statement. “These DREAMers play by the rules. They work hard and pay taxes. America is the only home they have ever known – and they deserve to stay here and keep contributing to our state and our nation.”

In a coalition led by Schneiderman, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the lawsuit was filed by 16 Attorneys General from New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia. The lawsuit alleges that Trump’s actions have violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause and the DREAMers’ right to due process.

“This cruel move to rescind DACA feeds the beast of bigotry and undermines the values that built this state and this nation,” stated New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Ending this policy will upend the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people who have only ever called America their home. This action is antithetical to everything we believe as New Yorkers and we cannot sit on the sidelines and watch the lives of these young people ruined. As we made clear before this decision, New York will sue to protect the ‘DREAMers’ and the state’s sovereign interest in the fair and equal application of the law.”

“It’s outrageous. I’m not going to put up with it. The governor sure as hell is not going to put up with it. These folks are not going to put up with it,” Ferguson asserted during a press conference on Wednesday. “It’s not right. As attorney general for the state of Washington, I fortunately have a hammer: It’s the law.”

In June, ten Republican attorneys general and a GOP governor threatened to sue Trump’s administration unless the president ended the DACA program by Tuesday, September 5. The list of state officials determined to abort DACA included Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Abiding to the Tuesday deadline, the White House issued a press release announcing that “the Trump administration is rescinding the previous Administration’s memorandum creating the unlawful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.”

“To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong,” former President Barack Obama wrote in a statement on Tuesday. “It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. What if our kid’s science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a DREAMer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country she doesn’t know or remember, with a language she may not even speak?

“Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us. They are that pitcher on our kid’s softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance. Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages.”

On Tuesday, Javier Palomarez, the president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, resigned from Trump’s National Diversity Coalition in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that Trump had decided to rescind the DACA program. During an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday, Palomarez admitted that Trump’s National Diversity Coalition had never formally met.

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