Attorneys general from New York and Washington state have threatened legal action against the White House amid reports that President Trump will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program tomorrow.
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Attorneys General Bob Ferguson of Washington and Eric Schneiderman of New York issued statements today condemning the expected policy change, which Trump has been considering for months.
“Ending this policy represents an assault on the values that built this state and this nation. The president’s action would upend the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people who have only ever called America their home, including roughly 42,000 New Yorkers,” Schneiderman wrote in a statement with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “It will rip families apart, sow havoc in our communities and force innocent people — our neighbors, our friend, and our relatives — to live in fear.”
“If President Trump follows through on his reported decision to cancel DACA after a six-month delay, the Washington Attorney General’s Office will file suit to halt this cruel and illegal policy and defend DACA recipients,” Ferguson said in his statement. “We have been working closely with legal teams around the country, and we expect to be joined by other states in this action.”
DACA, started by then-President Obama in 2012, allows certain unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to apply for deferred action on deportation and for work permit eligibility.
This would not be the first time Ferguson has taken legal action against the Trump administration; he was one of the first state attorneys general to file legal action against the president’s travel ban, which temporarily halted the admittance of citizens from several Middle Eastern countries.
Schneiderman also filed suit against the initial and a revised version of Trump’s travel ban.
Asked last Friday whether he plans to end the DACA program, Trump offered few specifics.
"We love the Dreamers. We love everybody," he told reporters in the Oval Office.
Ending the DACA program has drawn criticism from Democrats as well as Republicans who favor a legislative solution to the issue.
“These are kids who know no other country, who are brought here by their parents and don’t know another home. And so I really do believe that there needs to be a legislative solution,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told Wisconsin radio station WCLO last week. “I believe this is something Congress has to fix.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., issued a statement today saying he supports ending the DACA program, with a six-month delay.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has announced plans to push for “meaningful immigration reform” in Congress that provides “a workable path forward for the Dreamer population.”