On Wednesday, the attorneys general of 15 states filed a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his administration over the recent decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects children brought to the U.S. illegally from being deported.
United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions officially announced Tuesday that the program will end in six months, giving Congress time to find a legislative solution for those currently enrolled in DACA.
The complaint, filed in the Eastern District of New York, calls Trump’s decision “animus-driven,” illegal, and unconstitutional, saying it is “a culmination of President’s Trump’s oft-stated commitments . . . to punish and disparage people with Mexican roots.” It goes on to allege that rescinding DACA will harm hundreds of thousands of residents within these states and harm state economies, companies, and colleges.
The suit also argues that the Trump administration did not conduct the necessary formal rule-making process in implementing regulatory changes. (Note that none of these attorneys general said a word, much less filed a lawsuit, when President Obama single-handedly enacted DACA, sans any formal rule-making process.)
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.
California is notably absent from this list because its attorney general Xavier Becerra is planning to file a separate lawsuit against the president. His spokeswoman said the complaint will hinge on the fact that about a quarter of DACA recipients are residents of California.