The lawsuit accuses the Trump Administration of failing to follow proper administrative procedures and violating the due process rights of University of California students, around 4,000 of whom are undocumented, by so quickly ending the program.
The University of California filed suit Friday, Sept. 8, against the Trump administration over the president's executive order to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. Enacted by President Obama in 2012 by executive action, DACA provides protection to illegal immigrants who came to the USA when they were children.
The UC announced its lawsuit against the Trump administration Friday morning.
UC President Janet Napolitano, who was Department of Homeland Security secretary from 2009 to 2013, created the program in 2012.
Whether or not the lawsuits are ultimately successful, they open the possibility that one or more federal judges could issue an injunction that would halt the termination of DACA while the cases wind their way through the legal system. He had challenged the revocation of his three-year work authorization after the program's expansion was blocked by a federal judge in Texas, along with a farther-reaching program to shield undocumented parents of US citizens from deportation. President Donald Trump announced his decision to end the program Tuesday, saying that the program would expire in six months and placing the onus on Congress to decide the fate of young undocumented immigrants.
The firm Covington & Burling, LLP is providing pro bono support to the UC, according to a press release.
Enacted in 2012 under President Barack Obama, DACA allows young people to work legally in the US, and not be deported, for renewable, two-year periods.
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Financial aid programs available to "Dreamers" include Cal Grants for tuition; a Board of Governor's fee waiver; and institution-specific grants and scholarships for UC and California State University campuses.
In a statement, Napolitano said ending DACA is "contrary to our national values and bad policy". Overall, about 800,000 young people nationwide are protected by DACA.
DACA was not initiated by a presidential order. No new applications will be accepted.
On Friday, Napolitano said: "No court has ever held that DACA was illegal". They have purchased homes, started businesses and created jobs. If DACA is such a wonderful idea, then she can call California's congressional representatives to pass the measure the way it was should have been passed, and not via the pen-and-phone.
When asked to comment on the motion, Feuer's spokesman Rob Wilcox said, "Our office is already in discussions with other government entities on how best to maximize our impact on fighting the removal of DACA". Among other things, the suit claims that the Trump administration did not provide sufficient legal justification for rescinding the program.
Specifically, the University of California and Napolitano are challenging what they say is the administration's unlawful decision and they are filing a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief alleging the Trump administration is violating the Fifth Amendment. "There's absolutely no conflict or thought of recusal", she said. "But my greater interest lies with the young people whose futures are now being put in doubt".