On September 5th, 2017 President Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that Congress has six months to find a legislative solution. This promptly raised reactions throughout the country, both in support and opposition of the announcement.
15 states and the District of Columbia are now suing the Trump Administration to block the planned reversal of the program, which shields young immigrants from deportation. The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of New York.
States suing the administration include New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and District of Columbia. Surprisingly, California, a solidly Democratic state with a large immigrant population, is not presently listed as a state participating in the legal action. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that the state plans to file a separate lawsuit.
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a statement calling the president’s plan to end DACA “cruel, inhumane and devastating to those who have been able to come out of the shadows and live a full life as a result of the program.”
The Problems The Lawsuit Poses
The lawsuit claims that the reversal of DACA was motivated by prejudice against Hispanic immigrants. A few months back, when the travel ban was issued, Hawaii argued that the ban was illegally motivated by religious discrimination against Muslims. Statements made by Trump during his presidential campaign were used to support the claim. A federal judge agreed and blocked the ban, although the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a version of it to move forward. The idea is that the lawsuit against the DACA reversal can be argued on similar grounds due to comments made by Trump during his presidential campaign.
A lawsuit against the DACA reversal is going to be a tough case. DACA was enacted in 2012 by the Obama Administration as an executive order. Some people argued that this was an unconstitutional abuse of power, and should have been passed through Congress instead. Since it was enacted as an executive order, many argue that it could be reversed the same way.
Who Will Be Affected?
People who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents, or overstayed their visas are eligible for DACA. DACA granted them protection from deportation, and gave them the right to attend school and work. People already enrolled in DACA will remain covered until their permits expire. If their permits expire before March 5th, 2018 they will be eligible to renew their permits for another two years, as long as they apply before October 5th.
Texas is home to a large number of DACA eligible immigrants. If you or a loved one is worried about how the reversal of DACA may affect you, contact Lyttle Law Firm to schedule a consultation with immigration lawyer Daniella Lyttle.