Six immigrants brought to the United States as children who became teachers, graduate students and a lawyer sued the Trump administration Monday over its decision to end a program shielding them from deportation.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco alleges the move violated the constitutional rights of immigrants who lack legal status and provided information about themselves to the U.S. government so they could participate in the program.
“The consequences are potentially catastrophic,” said Jesse Gabriel, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. “These people can very powerfully and very clearly communicate the extent to which they organized their lives around this program.”
The lawsuit joins others filed over President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed nearly 800,000 immigrants to obtain work permits and deportation protection since 2012.
More than a dozen states from Maine to California have sued over the administration’s decision to phase out the program, alleging similar constitutional violations. So has the University of California system.
Gabriel said the impact of Trump’s decision directly weighed on his clients’ personal lives and decisions they made to advance their careers in this U.S.
One of the plaintiffs, Viridiana Chabolla Mendoza, 26, started at UCI Law School just five weeks ago.
She’s taking part in the suit – an act she described as “scary” – to help those who could face deportation if the executive order is repealed.
“It’s important to assure that we have rights that there should be due process…