Immigrant groups on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for its efforts to terminate a program that protects the youth who come into the U.S. illegally. According to a report by abajournal.com, CASA de Maryland, flanked by eight other groups and over a dozen individuals presented their claim to a Maryland federal court. The main targets of the lawsuit were President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and four government agencies- the agencies involved with immigration, citizenship, customs, and homeland security.
The Issues Presented in the Lawsuit
The lawsuit against the Trump administration argues that terminating the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program was against the legally stipulated procedures and an act of discrimination against Central Americans and Mexicans. Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that the Trump administration has offered no guarantees that it will not use private information contained in DACA applications for enforcement purposes. This is tantamount to a violation of the equal protection and due process clauses enshrined in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. constitution.
Rescinding the DACA program will cause about 800,000 immigrants to lose their work permits and protection. The suit continues to say that the decision to withdraw the program is a double cross. It is unjustified, arbitrary, capricious, and offensive to the law and basic values of the U.S.
Termination of the DACA Program
The DACA program affects thousands of youth across the country. These young people have commonly been referred to as “Dreamers”. Many of these dreamers came to the U.S. unlawfully as young children while others came legally but remained even after their visas had expired. On Sept 5, the U.S. Attorney General announced the termination of the DACA program. However, the Trump administration promised to continue renewing existing 2 year work permits for six months. This additional time has been created to allow Congress to pass a replacement program.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include states where DACA participants range from hundreds to several thousands. These include Hawaii, New York, Washington, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. Besides CASA de Maryland, this latest suit also includes lawyers from the Howard University law school, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Willke Farr & Gallagher, and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.
The world will be watching the Trump administration keenly to see how they react to this lawsuit. Will they back down to pressure or will they add more time for the dreamers? It will also be interesting to see the initiative that Congress will introduce as a replacement of the DACA program.