Before Trump formally announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program this morning, at least two state governments had already vowed to fight his actions in court.
Attorneys general representing New York and Washington both released statements yesterday announcing their intentions.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a joint statement with the state’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, said, “The president’s action would upend the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people who have only ever called America their home.”
The attorney general of Washington state, Bob Ferguson, also threatened legal action. “I will use all the legal tools at my disposal to defend the thousands of Dreamers in Washington state,” he said in a statement.
Given that DACA is an executive discretion program rather than a law, it's not clear how states could challenge the decision in court, but there's been some speculation that they could argue the decision violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourth Amendment because Dreamers (and the states they live in) have been conferred a benefit that will be arbitrarily withdrawn without due process. Many Dreamers are state employees or students at state schools who pay state and federal taxes and, in some cases, may even owe money to universities and colleges they could be deported from. They are citizens in every way but on paper.
I don't know how much of a leg that is to stand on, or if they might challenge the decision on other grounds, but Trump's actions should be challenged at every level of government and at every opportunity even if stopping him may not be possible.
If these states do file lawsuits, they'll be filed under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit (Washington) and the Second Circuit (New York).