California and three other states have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its revocation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, often referred to simply by its acronym, DACA.
Joined in litigation by Minnesota, Maryland, and Maine, the suit follows a barrage of similar efforts. Attorneys general from over a dozen states, as well as the District of Columbia, have all challenged the president’s controversial decision.
Private organizations – including immigrant advocacy groups and refugee resettlement agencies – are either contributing to ongoing litigation or beginning efforts of their own.
Speaking in Sacramento on Monday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra blasted the dissolution of DACA as “mean-spirited and unlawful,” while highlighting the importance the program has played in bolstering the state economy.
“I think everyone recognizes the scope and breadth of the Trump decision to terminate DACA hits hardest here,” he said.
“You don’t become the sixth-largest economy in the world just because,” Becerra said, referring to the outsized economic might wielded by the country’s most populous state. “It just so happens that one of every four DACA recipients in this country – some 200,000 – live and work and call California their home, and they’ve been helping California become the sixth-largest economy in the world.”
Becerra’s argument followed the same lines espoused by most of the administration’s opponents.
The attorney general criticized the DACA repeal as an unfortunate political ploy which would do little other than punish young and law-abiding people who did little wrong other than being brought to the United States when they were too young to remember or decide for themselves.
Becerra also said that the economic cost of deporting DACA recipients – of whom there are over 800,000 nationwide – “would be felt by California businesses, California local governments who have depended on the economic success of the DACA program.”
While California has long been a bastion of liberal politics and policies, not everyone in the state is supportive of the effort to give DACA recipients a pass to continue staying stateside.
Robin Hvidston, who heads a California group in favor of toughening immigration laws, was quoted by The Los Angeles Times as calling the suit as “misguided and premature and a misuse of tax dollars.”
Hvidston noted that President Donald Trump issued an edict for Congress to find an appropriate solution or replacement for DACA.
While announcing his decision to repeal, Trump told Congress that the program was their responsibility and that they should act within the next six months to avoid seeing Dreamers deported.