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California Files Lawsuit Challenging DACA Decision

Sacramento, CA — California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra is filing suit on behalf of the state against the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).

The DACA program protects immigrants from deportation who were brought into the country illegally as children. California is joined in the lawsuit by Maryland, Maine and Minnesota. It’s similar to a separate lawsuit filed last week by 15 states and the District of Columbia.

Becerra argues that the Trump administration violated the Constitution and federal laws by rescinding DACA. He states, “The court of public opinion has already spoken: the vast majority of Americans agree Dreamers should be here to stay; so now it’s time to fight in every way we can – and on multiple fronts – in the court of law.”

When announcing the DACA decision, US Attorney General Jeff Session’s stated, “To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here. That is an open border policy and the American people have rightly rejected it.”

DACA will end in six months unless Congress takes other action. Becerra estimates that one-out-of-every-four participants in the DACA program reside in California.

Specifically, the state’s lawsuit argues the following point, according to Becerra’s office.

-The Trump Administration’s termination of DACA and the associated Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo and FAQs may lead to the untenable outcome that the Administration will renege on the promise it made to Dreamers and their employers that information they gave to the government for their participation in the program will not be used to deport them or prosecute their employers. The risk DACA grantees face is compounded by DHS’s earlier imposition of boundless enforcement “priorities” that sweep in most immigrants. The threatened misuse of sensitive information provided in good faith by DACA grantees to the government is fundamentally unfair, violating the Fifth Amendment’s due process guarantee.

-The federal Regulatory Flexibility Act  requires the government to analyze the effects of a proposed change on small businesses, many of which are owned by, or employ, Dreamers, and to take comments on the proposed change. The Administration ignored these legal requirements.

-The termination of DACA directly affects the substantive rights of almost 800,000 people and indirectly affects millions more, as well as small and large businesses, non-profits, and the towns, cities and states that these individuals call home. The federal Administrative Procedure Act requires such a change to be made for sound reasons, and for the public to be able to make formal comments on it before it’s made into law. Whether or not the initiative was implemented through notice and comment rulemaking, it cannot be terminated without it.