15 states and D.C. challenge Trump’s decision to end DACA

By Al Neal, People’s World and Mark Gruenberg, Press Associates

NEW YORK—The fate of the 800,000 “Dreamers” is headed for federal court.

That’s because attorneys general from 15 states and Washington, D.C., sued GOP President Donald Trump in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Sept. 6 to keep them here.

And because right-wing states planned to sue to end the Dreamers’ dreams.

The AGs, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, challenged Trump’s decision the day before to end the 5-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and evict all the Dreamers, 78 percent of whom are Mexican natives, from the U.S.

Schneiderman and his colleagues said in their court papers that ejecting the Dreamers, all of whom were brought to here when they were small children and all of whom are technically undocumented, would harm their states, their economies and the Dreamers as well.

And their suit says bluntly that Trump ended DACA because he’s unconstitutionally prejudiced against people of Mexican ancestry.

They want the court to bring the ejection of the DACA permit-holders to a halt.

The Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security’s memo justifying dumping DACA, “together with the president’s numerous statements about his intentions towards Mexicans – who comprise the largest population of DACA grantees – target individuals for discriminatory treatment without lawful justification, based on their national origin,” the papers add. The suit cites at least six anti-Mexican statements by Trump.

That targeting violates the U.S. Constitution’s 5th Amendment guarantee of “equal protection of the law” to everyone in the country, the states’ top legal officers all said.

Unions and their allies strongly support keeping the DACA beneficiaries in the U.S. “Rescinding DACA was indefensible,” United Food and Commercial Workers Secretary-Treasurer Esther Lopez told the Labor Association for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) convention delegates who massed at the White House to denounce Trump. “It was a cruel political maneuver to split families and children,” she added, prompting one delegate to call from the crowd: “It was inhuman.”

“When President Trump takes freedom from the Dreamers and from immigrants, he takes freedom from all of us,” added AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “We won’t back up and we won’t back down!”

The lawsuit has coast-to-coast support, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announcing the day before that Schneiderman would file it and with Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee (D) joining Schneiderman at the press conference.

“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,” said Schneiderman.

“In announcing his presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump compared Mexican immigrants to rapists, stating: ‘When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,’” reads the lawsuit.

The Democratic attorneys general also argue DACA recipients have not received a guarantee their application information – sent to the feds so they could get work permits or attend college or serve in the military — will not be used for “immigration enforcement, including identifying, apprehending, detaining, or deporting non-citizens.”

And their papers point out Trump decided to dump DACA and deport the Dreamers under threat of another lawsuit, from nine states headed by Texas — which has a history of anti-Mexican and anti-Mexican-American discrimination, shown by rulings against its anti-sanctuary cities law and its anti-Latino state legislative and congressional redistricting maps.

Besides New York, Washington state and D.C., the other states suing Trump over DACA are Illinois, Oregon, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

Besides the demonstrations in D.C. against Trump’s DACA decision and protests elsewhere – including a mass strike by school students in Denver – politicians from both sides of the aisle weighed in against Trump (see other DACA stories).

“The president has tried to shirk responsibility for this, but let’s be clear, it is his hand on the knife in these people’s backs,” Inslee told the New York press conference. “He can’t just put it on Congress. It is his responsibility to fix this.”

The suit also charges Trump violated two other laws. One mandates agencies must follow set administration procedures before imposing new rules – and killing DACA would be a new rule. It also says Trump broke the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which allows agencies discretion in setting priorities for enforcement.

Obama said the Dreamers should not be a DHS enforcement and deportation priority, but gang members and undocumented people convicted of felonies should.

Asked to comment on the states’ suit to keep DACA, Trump Justice Department spokesperson Devin O’Malley said in a prepared statement: “While the plaintiffs in today’s lawsuits may believe arbitrary circumvention of Congress is lawful, the Department of Justice looks forward to defending this administration’s position.” Trump and his Justice Department maintain Obama illegally created DACA.

Source: PAI