States sue to stop Trump DACA move

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks during a press conference to announce the filing of a multi-state lawsuit to protect DACA recipients. AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) – A coalition of US states sued the Trump administration on Wednesday over its decision to end an amnesty programme for 800,000 people brought illegally to the United States as minors.

The lawsuit was filed in New York federal court by Democratic attorneys general of 15 states including New York, Illinois and Hawaii, as well as the District of Columbia.

It alleges the White House discriminated against immigrants of Mexican origin, who are the vast majority of the amnesty programme’s recipients, and violated Constitutional due process rights that protect against arbitrary punishment.

The Donald Trump administration said on Tuesday it was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme instituted by Barack Obama. The Republican
president said Congress should instead enact immigration reform.

In announcing the lawsuit, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused Mr Trump of “anti-Mexican bias”.

“The Trump administration’s decision to end DACA is cruel, inhumane and devastating,” Mr Schneiderman said in a statement.

“These DREAMers play by the rules. They work hard and pay taxes. America is the only home they have ever known – and they deserve to stay here and keep contributing to our state and our nation.”

The lawsuit comes after Texas, leading a different coalition of 10 conservative states, on Tuesday dropped a legal challenge to DACA first filed in 2015.

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