The White House is ending the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and nine Attorneys General are responding by suing 45*.
In July, 20 Democratic state Attorneys General (out of 22 across the country) sent a letter to 45 urging him to keep DACA in place, given the economic output and other positive contributions by the roughly 800,000 people covered by the five-year-old program. However, 45 nonetheless announced the eventual end of the program through Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which would mean deportations would begin in roughly six months unless Congress passes a bill to restore the program before then.
Attorneys General representing eight states have promised legal action against the White House. As of this writing, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington state are putting together a federal lawsuit to protect DACA residents at risk of being deported. Those eight states are being joined by Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine in the lawsuit, according to statements made on social media and official government websites. Tweets not directly from state AG accounts are from journalists covering state government:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 5, 2017
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
AG Chin: "Where the Trump administration fails to do what's right, we will work with other states to stand in the gap and protect Dreamers."
— Hawaii AG (@AtghIgov) September 5, 2017
— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) September 5, 2017
— Gintautas Dumcius (@gintautasd) September 5, 2017
Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum: state will join #DACA legal actions after Trump reversal
— Andy Giegerich (@PBJAndy) September 5, 2017
Attorney General Kilmartin just announced that he will join other AGs around America to fight Trump ruling on DACA pic.twitter.com/ebHgmsR756
— Don Anderson (@RevDonRISCC) September 5, 2017
— Dan Boyd (@DanBoydNM) September 5, 2017
Other Democratic Attorneys General who may end up joining the lawsuit in the future represent the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia. As of Tuesday evening, Attorneys General from Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Minnesota have not yet made a statement about the repeal of DACA on their social media channels or on their government websites.
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
— Brian Frosh (@BrianFrosh) September 4, 2017
Maryland AG Frosh on DACA: "My office is evaluating all potential options to protect these DREAMers and their families.”
— John Fritze (@jfritze) September 5, 2017
— TJ Donovan (@TJforVermont) September 5, 2017
Undocumented residents protected by DACA — commonly known as “Dreamers” — were brought to the U.S. before turning 16 years old, have no criminal record, and either have employment or are currently enrolled in school or the U.S. military. Those given DACA protections are free from the threat of deportation for two years, and can re-apply every two years to continue their residency.
A team of Democratic senators, led by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) is attempting to force a vote on the DREAM Act to protect undocumented residents in the DACA program.
(*EDITOR’S NOTE: GritPost.com is now exclusively referring to Donald Trump as “45.” Please read our official statement on Twitter explaining the decision.)
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.