New York on Wednesday joined 14 other states and the District of Columbia in a federal lawsuit that will try to block President Trump’s plan to kill a program protecting young immigrants from deportation.
New York Attorney Eric Schneiderman argued in the suit, filed in Brooklyn federal court, that those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program should be allowed to stay in the US.
“Immigration is the lifeblood of New York State. The Trump administration’s decision to end DACA is cruel, inhumane, and devastating to the 42,000 New Yorkers who have been able to come out of the shadows and live a full life as a result of the program,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
“These DREAMers play by the rules. They work hard and pay taxes. America is the only home they have ever known – and they deserve to stay here and keep contributing to our state and our nation.”
New York is home to nearly 42,000 people protected by DACA out of about 800,000 nationwide.
The AG said they pay $140 million annually in state and local taxes in New York, citing the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy.
The plaintiffs included the blue states of Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, plus DC.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the DACA program will end in six months to give Congress time to find a legislative solution for the immigrants.
The participants were brought to the US illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas.
Those already enrolled in DACA remain covered until their permits expire. If their permits expire before March, 5, 2018, they are eligible to renew them for another two years as long as they apply by Oct. 5. But the program isn’t accepting new applications.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the action violates the due process rights of the immigrants. He said he fears the information the immigrants provided the government to participate in DACA could be used against them.
“It’s outrageous, it’s not right,” an emotional Ferguson said at a news conference in Seattle. “As attorney general for the state of Washington, I have a hammer, it’s the law.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee joined Ferguson at the news conference and said “this is one more of a long train of abuses that this president has attempted to foist on this great nation.”