New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced a lawsuit to defend DACA, joining a coalition of 15 states and Washington that has promised to protect immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children following President Donald Trump’s decision to dismantle the program.
Trump’s announcement on Tuesday to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, created by President Barack Obama in 2012, sparked outrage across the country as protesters took to the streets and officials local officials spoke out against the move.
Schneiderman addressed the decision Tuesday afternoon, calling it “cruel, gratuitous, and devastating to tens of thousands of New Yorkers.”
On Wednesday, he announced a multi-state lawsuit to protect Dreamers, the thousands of young people who benefit from DACA protections.
“By definition, Dreamers play by the rules. Dreamers work hard, Dreamers pay taxes and for most, America is the only home they’ve ever known. They deserve to stay here,” Schneiderman said. “We are suing to protect the rights of Dreamers, the rights of employers who rely on them, the schools they attend and the rights of the millions of friends and relatives who love them.”
Attorneys general from Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii and more are part of the effort sue over the dismantling of DACA, which puts nearly 800,000 beneficiaries at a higher risk of deportation and increases uncertainty about their futures both in this country and with their families. The lawsuit challenges the discriminatory impact of Trump’s decision on Latino and Mexican communities, Schneiderman said.
“As we argued in successful opposition to Trump's two discriminatory anti-Muslim travel bans, his own words show that he is biased against Mexicans,” Schneiderman said, citing the president’s comments about “bad hombres” and calling Mexicans rapists, criminals and thugs.
Rescinding DACA would have a detrimental impact on thousands of lives as well as on the economy of New York and other states across the country. Ending DACA would affect more than 42,000 New Yorkers and cost the state more than $38 billion over the next decade, Schneiderman said.
“DACA grantees are the American dream,” he said. “They go to school, they work, they pay $140 million in state and local taxes every year here in New York.”
Ending his announcement of the lawsuit, Schneiderman addressed Dreamers directly.
“We see you, we hear you, we care about you and we have your back,” he said. “America made a promise to you, and we will stand shoulder to shoulder with you to make sure that promise is kept. The complaint filed today is critical step in making sure that promise is kept.”