Sept. 7 (UPI) — Attorneys general from 15 U.S. states filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block the Trump administration’s planned termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Democratic attorneys general filed the suit Wednesday in retaliation to the administration’s announcement a day earlier that it would end the program created by former President Barack Obama, unless Congress provided a legislative fix by March 2018.
But if the program is phased out, more than 800,000 people currently working and studying in the U.S. under the Obama-era initiative could be deported.
Among those suing, Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson claimed that getting rid of the program would violate the due process of rights of those who disclosed personal information to enroll in the DACA program.
“It’s outrageous, it’s not right. As attorney general for the state of Washington, I have a hammer – it’s the law,” Ferguson said.
The lawsuit claims that the end of the program would ultimately have severe financial and social consequences for states.
“Rescinding DACA will cause harm to hundreds of thousands of the States’ residents, injure State-run colleges and universities, upset the States’ workplaces, damage the States’ economies, hurt State-based companies, and disrupt the States’ statutory and regulatory interests,” the attorneys general wrote in the suit.
The plaintiffs in the suit include New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, along with the District of Columbia.
The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel said in 2014 that the program “could be terminated at any time at [the Department of Homeland Security’s] discretion.”