On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced President Trump’s decision to kill DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). This would leave it to Congress to pass an alternative legislation. To qualify for the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program, applicants must have entered the United States before age 16 and lived in the country continuously since June 2007. Applicants also must past criminal background checks. The DACA protection lasts for two years and can be renewed. All of these stipulations easily supplant the arguments Sessions put forth regarding the need to dismantle the program.
It appears the president’s hand was forced a bit, as a group of conservative state attorneys general had threatened to sue the Trump administration in federal court unless it began to dismantle the program by Sept. 5, 2017.
In the immediate wake of Sessions’s announcement, protests broke out all over the country. By Wednesday, fifteen states and the District of Columbia had filed a lawsuit to effectively block President Donald Trump’s plan to rescind DACA. The foundational claim is that rescinding DACA in such a way is in violation of the Constitution’s due process clause. The suit also lists several of the president’s own statements during his presidential campaign as evidence that his decision to end the program is discriminatory and particularly aims to “punish and disparage people with Mexican roots.”
The lawsuit reads, in part, “The consequence of the President’s animus-driven decision is that approximately 800,000 persons who have availed themselves of the program will ultimately lose its protections and will be exposed to removal when their authorizations expire and they cannot seek renewal.”
The fifteen states included in the lawsuit are: New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.