California sues Trump over DACA termination, $30-M planned for recipients


The state of California filed a lawsuit on Monday, September 11 against the Trump administration over its decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

California Governor Jerry Brown and state legislative leaders have also agreed to designate $30 million to help California DACA recipients. The state is home to over 200,000 DACA recipients.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was joined by attorneys general for Minnesota, Maryland, and Maine, in filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration on Monday, over its decision to rescind DACA.

“In California, we don’t just support and value them — we fight for them.  And it’s important that we get this right,” said Becerra.  “We will not permit Donald Trump to destroy the lives of young immigrants who make California and our country strong.”

Key points from the lawsuit state that the decision to end DACA violates federal laws, and may be detrimental to the economy.

In the lawsuit, Becerra argues that the termination of the program violates the Fifth Amendment due process clause by “substantially altering DHS’s prior assurances regarding the use of information contained in DACA applications.”  A major concern for recipients was of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) access to their personal information which they feared could be used for deportation.

A recent memo by the Trump administration titled “Talking Points – DACA Rescissions” fueled concerns by revealing the DHS’s urge for DACA recipients to “use the time remaining on their work authorizations to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States.”

This came shortly after Trump posted a tweet telling recipients not to worry, and after the DHS said that DACA participant information would not be “proactively provided” to other law enforcement entities like the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or Customs and Border Protection (CBP), unless a threat to public safety or national security.  The policy may be rescinded or modified at any time without notice, the DHS added.

Becerra also argues in the suit that the Trump administration violated two federal laws, the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).  The APA requires agencies to go through a certain procedure, including a “notice and comment” process, before making a decision.  In violation of the RFA, the Justice Department failed to give a sufficient assessment of how the decision would affect businesses and municipalities.

Becerra signaled his intent to sue before, in a statement following the decision to end DACA.  “California is taking action because one in four DACA grantees live in our state,” he said.  “I will do everything I can to fight for them.”

Other lawsuits have been made against the Trump administration as well.  On Friday, University of California President Janet Napolitano filed a lawsuit and said in a Los Angeles Times Op-Ed, “I’ve seen the exceptional contributions Dreamers are making to the nation.  They represent the very best of our country.”  Napolitano served as secretary of the DHS under Obama, and signed the directive that created DACA.

Last Wednesday, Sept. 6, a coalition of 15 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the administration.  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called the decision “cruel, shortsighted, inhumane, and potentially devastating to hundreds and thousands of immigrants and millions of people who work with, study with, love, and care for them.”

$30 million planned for DACA recipients

Outside of the lawsuit, California Governor Jerry Brown and other state legislative leaders have agreed to designate $30 million to assist DACA recipients through financial aid and legal services.

“We will not let one man with xenophobic tendencies undercut years of progress we have made in California to integrate these young adults into our society and economy,” said California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León.  “California is their home and they are our future.”

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said, “The new funding for DACA services we are adding to the budget will provide answers and help young Californians stay in the only country they’ve ever known.  Donald Trump may love chaos.  These kids don’t deserve it.”

Of the $30 million, $20 million will to go to legal services under the One California program, and $10 million will be for California public colleges — $7 million for California Community College students, $2 million for California State University students via the Dream Loan Program, and $1 million for University of California students also via the Dream Loan Program. (Rae Ann Varona / AJPress)

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