New York to file lawsuit protecting DACA beneficiaries


NEW YORK (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s decision to end protections and benefits for young people who were brought into the United States illegally as children faces a legal challenge from New York and other states.

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman will announce a multistate lawsuit to protect beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at a news conference at 2:15 p.m. (1815 GMT) on Wednesday, his office said in a statement.  

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, along with the state’s Governor Jay Inslee, also said they would be announcing a lawsuit later on Wednesday. The New York Attorney General’s office confirmed Washington is part of the same action.

Trump’s decision on Tuesday to end the five-year-old program instituted by former President Barack Obama plunged almost 800,000 young people, known as “Dreamers,” into uncertainty. The move drew criticism from business and religious leaders, mayors, governors, Democratic lawmakers, unions and civil liberties advocates.

Trump, who delayed the end of the program until March 5, shifted responsibility to a Congress controlled by his fellow Republicans, saying it was now up to lawmakers to pass immigration legislation that could address the fate of those protected by DACA.

Schneiderman and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had promised on Monday, before Trump’s announcement, to challenge any decision by the president to end the program. Cuomo said the move would affect roughly 42,000 New Yorkers, upending their lives and ripping families apart.

“Ending this policy represents an assault on the values that built this state and this nation,” Cuomo said in a statement.

DACA, which provides work permits and protection from deportation, primarily benefits Hispanics. Most people covered by the program are in their 20s.

Legal experts have said that court challenges to Trump’s actions could face an uphill battle, since the president typically has wide authority when it comes to implementing immigration policy.

Immigration advocates and lawmakers say Congress will have to act to find a long-term solution for the “Dreamers.”

Reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York, Nate Raymond in Boston and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by W Simon and Frances Kerry

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