D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine joined a coalition of 16 attorneys general Wednesday in filing suit to protect grantees of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the program that allows “Dreamers” — young undocumented immigrants eligible for DACA — to stay in the U.S.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, details how the Trump administration has violated the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution by discriminating against Dreamers of Mexican origin, who make up 78 percent of DACA recipients.
The suit also claims the decision violates due process rights and harms states’ residents, institutions and economies.
“Sending these Dreamers — including nearly 800 District residents — back to countries they do not know is cruel and will rip District families apart,” Racine said. “Along with my fellow attorneys general, I will stand by these hardworking young people to ensure they are treated fairly and feel safe in the only place they’ve ever known as home.”
The District of Columbia is home to nearly 800 DACA grantees with approximately 800,000 total DACA recipients across the country. According to the Center for American Progress, 97 percent of DACA grantees are employed or go to school and pay $2.7 million annually in state and local taxes in the District.
The lawsuit also includes a number of declarations from businesses, academic institutions, local governments, DACA grantees and others affected by the Trump administration’s decision and includes the following:
“Rescinding DACA will cause harm to hundreds of thousands of the States’ residents, injure State-run colleges and universities, upset the States’ workplaces, damage the States’ economies, hurt State-based companies, and disrupt the States’ statutory and regulatory interests.”
Attorneys General Eric Schneiderman of New York, Maura Healey of Massachusetts and Bob Ferguson of Washington state, who led the suit, were also joined by their counterparts from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.