Earlier today, the Trump administration announced that it would officially be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. The Obama-era initiative shields the children of undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for most of their lives. They are taxpaying, contributing members of society, and are every bit as much Americans as legal citizens. Trump has betrayed them, and the promise this country made to them.
Trump’s transparent ploy to lather up his bigoted base has been met with widespread, bipartisan condemnation. Now, our xenophobic president might also be facing legal ramifications for his decision.
Twenty Democratic attorneys general have come together to announce their intention to sue Trump over his rescission of DACA, reports The Hill.
“Ending DACA is un-American, and it’s going to threaten the health and safety of many individuals. Various attorneys general from across the country are preparing to defend DACA recipients. The Constitution applies [to them] as well in terms of equal protection and due process,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a statement to The Hill.
ABC News reports that Attorney General Xavier Bacerra of California added his voice to the motion, slamming Trump and announcing his intention to sue in a statement:
“President Trump has turned his back on hundreds of thousands of children and young Americans who came forward and put their trust in our government. But in terminating DACA, the Trump Administration has also violated the Constitution and federal law. This Administration has chosen to ignore what American voters have said they think is right. Nearly 80 percent of voters want to protect the legal status of Dreamers. Ending the program is devastating not just for recipients, but for our economy. California businesses would lose more than a billion dollars in turnover costs. Attorney General Sessions claims this decision is full of ‘compassion,’ but real compassion would be treating Dreamers ‘with heart,’ as President Trump himself said. California is taking action because one in four DACA grantees live in our great state. I will do everything I can to fight for them.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) were also amongst those who announced their support for suing Trump over his DACA repeal.
Eight hundred thousand people will be affected by Trump’s decision, many of them Hispanic. The announcement comes just over a week after the president extended a pardon to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a convicted racist who engaged in widespread, illegal racial profiling. Taken together, Trump’s moves clearly delineate an increasingly overt white nationalist agenda. Neither can be interpreted as anything less than dog whistles to the worst elements of the country.
With such immoral and weak leadership at the head of the federal government, it’s reassuring to see the states rising to the challenge and defending the rights of children who know no other home than the United States. Trump represents the worse this country has to offer, but these attorneys general are demonstrating the courage and compassion at the heart of what it truly means to be American.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.