Fifteen states and the District of Columbia filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday to block the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, arguing that it violates applicants’ due process rights and that — like Trump’s travel ban — the decision was motivated at least partly by an intent to discriminate, this time against Latinos. The suit was filed in the Eastern District of New York by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as lead attorney. Scheneiderman, you’ll recall, also led the successful fraud lawsuit against Trump University, which eventually ended in a $25 million settlement. Schneiderman said,
It’s clear that President Trump’s DACA repeal would cause huge economic harm to New York—and that it’s driven by President Trump’s personal anti-Mexican bias[.]
California AG Xavier Becerra said he also intends to sue separately to preserve DACA, but won’t be joining the other states’ lawsuit. One in four DACA recipients — about 200,000 people — live in California.
Washington state officials had some especially sharp words about Trump’s decision to end DACA. Gov. Jay Inslee said in a press conference announcing the suit,
led the fight against Trump’s travel ban — said Trump’s decision violated DREAMers’ due process rights, since they signed over a lot of personal information to apply for DACA, which the government can now use to locate and deport them and their families.
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 […] He can’t just put it on Congress. It is his responsibility to fix this.
“It’s outrageous, it’s not right,” Ferguson said in a Seattle news conference. “As attorney general for the state of Washington, I have a hammer — it’s the law.”
The AGs argue the federal government has failed to provide necessary protection for the applicants’ data, and that it should have guaranteed their applications would not be used for “purposes of immigration enforcement, including identifying, apprehending, detaining, or deporting non-citizens.”
The likelihood that the government will betray those who trusted it when they applied for DACA is covered in excellent, anger-inducing detail at the Daily Beast. It’s the sort of misuse of trusted information that wingnuts would never tolerate if it were used against, say, gun owners, but hey, if it’s used against Mexicans, they’re good with that. Pfft. It’s not like “due process” is in the Constitution, is it?
The lawsuit also argues that rescinding DACA violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, since the decision will mostly affect Latinos; 80 percent of those who will be subject to deportation were born in Mexico before their parents brought them to the U.S. as children.
Citing Trump’s numerous statements disparaging Mexicans as “criminals, thugs, and ‘bad hombres,'” Ferguson said Trump has revealed “a racial animus” towards Mexicans: “Ask yourself one question: If the overwhelming majority were Caucasians, does anybody really think he (President Trump) would have taken the action he took?”
The lawsuit also argues that the individual states will be harmed by the potential deportation of thousands of tax-paying residents.
The Justice Department offered a typically dismissive statement insisting that DACA was unconstitutional in the first place, so neener-neener-neener:
“While the plaintiffs in Wednesday’s lawsuit may believe that an arbitrary circumvention of Congress is lawful, the Department of Justice looks forward to defending this administration’s position,” said DOJ spokesman Devin O’Malley.
The ACLU has argued that DACA is in fact perfectly cromulent under the Constitution. Even so, there’s no telling whether the states’ lawsuit will be successful, since as the government argued during the travel ban cases, the president has broad authority in setting immigration policy and priorities — which was Barack Obama’s justification for the executive action in the first place.Trump-brain logic, that’s clearly a 9 to 16 victory for ending DACA, isn’t it?
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