15 US states sue Trump over DACA decision in court
A group of 16 Democratic and nonpartisan state attorneys general has sued US President Donald Trump's decision to terminate Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is an Obama-era policy to protect undocumented immigrant youth from deportation. The attorneys argue that Trump's decision was driven by discriminatory reasons, evident by the president's disparaging comments against Mexicans. The group argues DACA's termination violated due process.
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday terminated the 'Dreamers' program which aimed to protect 8 lakh young immigrants illegally brought to the US as children, from being deported. Earlier, on behalf of the Congress, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan had urged Trump to reconsider terminating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era policy. It provides work and study permits to thousands of so-called "Dreamers."
The DACA program intends to protect youth under 30, termed "Dreamers" from deportation. Under the program, the selected applicants are provided study or work permits after the FBI thoroughly verifies their personal information. In return, the US government defers action based on their immigration status for two years. At least 800,000 Dreamers, mostly from Latin America and Mexico are currently under DACA protection.
A majority of DACA recipients are of Mexican origin. The attorneys have devoted an entire section of their argument to Trump's comments on Mexicans, including his attacks on federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is of Mexican descent. Trump's confrontational statements have been used against him in earlier lawsuits, including the challenges against his controversial travel ban on people from six predominantly-Muslim countries.
The attorneys argue that Trump "has demonstrated a willingness to disparage Mexicans in a misguided attempt to secure support from his constituency, even when such impulses are impermissible motives for directing governmental policy."
It's worth noting that Trump's decision to terminate DACA came amid intense pressure from 10 US states led by Texas. In June, these states threatened to sue if Trump didn't discontinue the program by September 5. The lawsuit against DACA's termination features a section dedicated to Texas, which is described as "a state found to have discriminated against Latinos/Hispanics nine times since 2012."
"Immigration is the lifeblood of New York State," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who added: "The Trump administration's decision to end DACA is cruel, inhumane, and devastating…" "I filed suit against President Trump and his administration to protect DACA because Dreamers are just as American as first lady Melania Trump," said New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas.