California files lawsuit against Trump administration over DACA repeal

California, three other states sue over Trump action on 'Dreamer' immigrants

California, three other states sue over Trump action on 'Dreamer' immigrants

Demonstrators hold signs during a protest in front of the White House after the Trump administration today scrapped the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that protects from deportation nearly 800,000 young men and women who were brought into the USA illegally as children, in Washington on September 5, 2017.

In a press conference announcing the lawsuit, Becerra called Trump's order "unlawful and mean-spirited". "It's unfortunate that President Donald Trump chose to turn his back". U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session announced last week that new applications for the program are being halted and that it will end in six months if Congress does not take action. "There is no state that will be more economically impacted by the Trump administration's unconstitutional and illegal termination of DACA than California". Dreamers must meet certain conditions such as attending school or serving in the military and pass criminal background checks. In fact Becerra noted that California has more Dreamers than all of the 16 other jurisdictions that filed their lawsuit last week.

The lawsuit in California alleges that terminating DACA would reverse the federal government's promise not to use the information provided by participants of the program for deportations or prosecutions. DACA, which was enacted by former President Barack Obama in 2012, has helped thousands of undocumented individuals obtain work permits and driver's licenses in certain states.

"In California you don't become the world's sixth-largest economy, just because", Becerra said.

The lawsuit comes a week after 15 other states, led by NY and Washington, filed a similar legal challenge. The University of California also filed a DACA lawsuit Friday.

He also argues that using that information would violate the legal principle of equitable estoppel, which essentially protects against a "bait and switch", in this case giving Dreamers reason to believe their personal information wouldn't be used against them and then doing so anyway.

"It would not only be a travesty economically for our state, it would be a travesty for local law enforcement who have grown accustomed to having the support and cooperation of [Dreamer families] working to combat crime in the neighborhoods", Becerra said.

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