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California sues Trump administration over plan to end DACA

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

California on Monday sued the Trump administration, challenging as unconstitutional the president’s plan to rescind a program to protect young immigrants brought to the country illegally from deportation.

The lawsuit comes a week after 15 other states, led by New York and Washington, filed a similar legal challenge.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Monday he decided to file a separate suit because the state and its economy will be especially harmed by the president's action because it is home to a quarter of the 800,000 people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

“I think everyone recognizes the scope and breadth of the Trump decision to terminate DACA hits hardest here,” Becerra said after the other states sued.

Becerra’s lawsuit says the DACA program approved by former President Obama is legal and that its repeal violates due process rights and will hurt the state’s economy.

“It’s fully lawful, it’s totally American in its values and it’s an unmitigated success for California’s economy and the country’s economy,” Becerra said in a recent interview.

The lawsuit is joined by Maine, Minnesota and Maryland and argues in part that the repeal "may lead to the untenable outcome that the [Trump] 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 lawsuit was criticized Monday by Robin Hvidston, who heads a California group seeking tougher enforcement of immigration laws.

“It’s misguided and premature and a misuse of tax dollars,” said Hvidston, executive director of the Claremont-based group We the People Rising.

She noted that President Trump delayed repeal of the program for six months to give Congress a chance to address the issue, and that several Republican-led states have sued to end the DACA program.

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