“Politico New York: Schneiderman Sues Trump Administration Over Plan to End DACA”
September 8, 2017
As published by Politico New York, on September 6, 2017.
Calling President Donald Trump’s actions “un-American,” New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Wednesday that New York and 14 other states, along with Washington D.C., are suing the Trump Administration over its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — the Obama Administration program that allowed undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children to avoid deportation.
The federal order rescinding DACA, issued by the federal Department of Homeland Security, was motivated by Trump’s “personal anti-Mexican, anti-Latino bias,” Schneiderman said Wednesday at a press conference in Manhattan held to announce the multi-state lawsuit.
Schneiderman’s lawsuit, announced a little more than 24 hours after the Trump Administration announced its decision, is the latest in a rush of action from New York officials eager to flex their respective muscles against the locally unpopular president, defend DACA and declare their opposition to an action many have denounced as unnecessarily cruel.
A Siena Poll released this week showed 66 percent of New York state voters, of both parties, hold an unfavorable view of the president. Among Democrats, 86 percent of voters statewide view the president unfavorably.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio held an impromptu press conference to respond to the president’s action, where he warned President Trump not to “mess with your fellow New Yorkers,” and pledged to detail options the city could pursue which, the mayor said, “will potentially nullify this action by the President.”
A spokesman for the mayor’s office said he will submit a declaration in support of Schneiderman’s lawsuit. The City is conducting wide-scale community outreach to ensure DACA recipients have access to City support and legal services. It is also adding new staff to a city program called ActionNYC, which provides free legal advice to New Yorkers and will begin prioritizing DACA recipients.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave his own lengthy response to the president’s action Tuesday, calling the plan to rescind DACA a move that is, “feeding the beast of bigotry red meat.”
De Blasio and Cuomo both argued that Trump’s order was motivated in part by racism.
The lawsuit Schneiderman unveiled used a similar argument as one of its causes of action. The suit cites comments Trump made during his 2016 presidential campaign, when he called Mexicans “rapists” and argued a Mexican-American federal judge overseeing a case involving Trump University couldn’t be unbiased toward him.
Lawsuits filed against the Trump Administration’s executive order earlier this year, restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, used a similar argument and several federal judges have agreed.
Schneiderman argued U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ publicly-stated rationale for ending DACA — that the program is unconstitutional and has led immigrants to take jobs from citizens— was disingenuous.
“We reject these pretexts advanced by Sessions and [Elaine] Duke for why they’re pulling the plug on a clearly successful and popular program,” Schneiderman said. “This is done, we say and we lay out in our complaint, because 78 percent of the DACA grantees are Mexican, 93 percent are Latinos, and the Administration has over and over again evinced an unconstitutional, discriminatory animus toward those groups.”
The Administration’s decision Tuesday violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fifth Amendment, the lawsuit argues, citing statements made by President Trump about Mexicans and other ethnic groups.
“The DHS Memorandum—together with the President’s numerous statements about his intentions towards Mexicans, who comprise the largest population of DACA grantees—target individuals for discriminatory treatment based on their national origin, without lawful justification,” the lawsuit argues.
The lawsuit also says the the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause, “requires that immigration enforcement actions taken by the federal government be fundamentally fair.”
DACA grantees were promised at the time the program was implemented that their personal data wouldn’t later be used to deport them, and the Administration’s new regulation would violate that promise, depriving grantees of their constitutional rights, the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit also argues the president’s order was issued without following the usual path for new regulations, which require federal agencies “to analyze the impact of rules they promulgate on small entities and publish initial and final versions of those analyses for public comment,” the suit said.
The 58-page lawsuit, State of New York et al. v. Donald Trump et al, was filed Wednesday in New York’s Eastern District Federal court.
The other states included in the lawsuit are: Virginia, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Carolina, New Mexico, Illinois, Iowa, Hawaii, Delaware, Connecticut, Washington, and Massachusetts.
Read the lawsuit here.