15 states, D.C. file lawsuit challenging Trump’s DACA shutdown

Reporting from Washington

15 states, D.C. file lawsuit challenging Trump’s DACA shutdown

 (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

(Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

Lawyers for 15 states, led by New York and Washington, filed suit against President Trump on Wednesday over his planned repeal of the DACA program, arguing that federal authorities have “backtracked” on their promise to protect young immigrants who came forward and registered with the government.

They urged a federal judge in Brooklyn to block the move to rescind the Obama-era program on the grounds the reversal is “unauthorized by and contrary to the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

“It’s clear that President Trump’s DACA repeal would cause huge economic harm to New York—and that’s it’s driven by President Trump’s personal anti-Mexican bias,” said New York Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman who led the suit.

He was joined by state attorneys from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Tuesday he too planned to sue to defend Obama’s 2012 order, which has protected from deportation more than 200,000  immigrants who came to this country as children and settled in California. However, he did not sign on the New York suit.

The legal action by the Democratic state lawyers mirrors a similar effort by Republican attorneys from Texas and more than 20 other states. They filed suit in a federal court in south Texas alleging Obama had gone too far in 2014 when he expanded DACA and introduced a new program to cover about four million immigrant parents who had legal children in this country.

The Texas suit led to a national order that blocked Obama’s 2014 policy from taking effect. While conservatives have described Obama’s action as unconstitutional, the Texas judge ruled on procedural grounds that the Democratic administration failed to publish its new rule as an official regulation.

Now the Democratic state attorneys argue that the abrupt repeal on the DACA order should also be blocked on procedural grounds.

They also say the repeal should be blocked on the grounds that it is motivated by discrimination against Mexicans and because it violates the “due process of law” by suddenly changing the rules for the young immigrants.

12:56 p.m.: This article was updated with staff reporting.

Latest updates

Get our twice-weekly Politics newsletter