States Say They’ll Sue Over DACA

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

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Fourth Amendment because Dreamers (and the states they live in) have been conferred a benefit that will be arbitrarily withdrawn without due process.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).

  • Not that we need more proof that Trump hasn’t got a clue and wouldn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground, there was a McClatchy article yesterday that described how Kelly was the one who mediated between Trump’s desire to deliver a campaign promise and Kelly’s own desire to keep DACA. It was Kelly that came up with the 6 month delay idea and it was he who called individual members of Congress to shore up support for their taking action. Can we just start calling him President Kelly and get it over with? Funny, I don’t remember him being on the ballot.

  • muselet

    It will be interesting to see how the courts respond to these challenges.

    Also, given the polling, it will be interesting to see how the public responds.


  • Scopedog

    Well, better to do something instead of just sitting back and bawling. And I’m sure that Schneirderman can put together a proper case.