NEW YORK (KDKA/AP) — Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit in New York challenging President Donald Trump’s plan to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation.
The suit was first announced by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who called Trump’s act “a dark time for our country.”
Plaintiffs include New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
Pennsylvania Attorney General said in a press release of the lawsuit: “Earlier today, more than a dozen Attorneys General and I filed a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s decision to end the successful DACA program that the Federal Government started five years ago. I have reviewed the President’s actions and determined they violate the rule of law. I’m forced to act because of a failure of leadership, both by President Trump and by Congress to fix our broken immigration system.”
Shapiro says of the 5,889 people in the DACA program in Pennsylvania, “87 percent are employed. They generate over $20 million in state and local taxes.”
In the press release, he goes on to say:
“Whether or not you agree with the policy or support President Trump isn’t the issue here. The Federal Government made a promise, they put a program in place and asked these young people who have grown up as Americans to apply, and the rule of law says we can’t rip that away from them now.
“Make no mistake – our immigration laws are a disgrace. President Trump and Congress owe the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the American people enforceable immigration laws that make us safe and create jobs. Washington has debated this issue and done nothing for fifteen years. It’s shameful.
“Our lawsuit lays out a series of concerns, from making sure the Federal Government doesn’t use the information provided by DREAMers against them to the economic harm done to our Commonwealth. If the Administration addresses these concerns and modifies their order, I’ll be the first to commend them.”
To read Shapiro’s statement in full, click here.
On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the program, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, will end in six months to give Congress time to find a legislative solution for the immigrants.
The participants were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)