Conn. Joins Multistate Lawsuit Challenging President Trump on DACA
Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Attorney General George Jepsen today announced that Connecticut has joined with a coalition of 14 other states and the District of Columbia in suing President Donald Trump and his administration seeking to invalidate his memorandum that ends the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to enjoin federal agencies from using information gathered through DACA in immigration enforcement efforts.
"Connecticut is steadfast in our commitment to protect the over 10,000 DACA eligible youth in our state against the President’s cruel and misguided decision to rescind the program," Governor Malloy said. "We have already invested so much in these Dreamers who have grown up in Connecticut. They been raised and educated in our school systems. They contribute to Connecticut’s economy. They pay taxes. They defend our nation. We have seen how much our state stands to benefit from welcoming Dreamers, and their talents, to our communities and our workplaces – we will not turn our backs on them."
"We intend to vigorously oppose the president's actions," said Attorney General Jepsen. "We cannot stand idly by while this administration needlessly and cruelly threatens the futures of more than 10,000 Connecticut residents. These dreamers are valued members of our social fabric and economy. They are our friends and neighbors, employers and employees, and students working to better themselves and their communities. For many, America is the only home they have ever really known, and they are proud to work and contribute to its success. We believe that President Trump has acted unlawfully in stripping DACA protection from those who have followed the rules laid out for them and structured their lives in reliance on the protections they were promised."
Approximately 800,000 young people who were brought into the United States as children have been granted DACA since it was implemented in 2012. Under President Trump's order, approximately 1,400 individuals will lose their ability to work and risk termination of their employment every day.
DACA grantees, the states argue, are now even more vulnerable than before DACA was implemented because they turned over sensitive information to the federal government, trusting repeated assurances that such information would not be used to conduct enforcement actions. President Trump and his administration have not explained if or how they intend to keep that information secure and have provided no assurances that it will not be used by immigration enforcement agents.
In their complaint, the states allege that the action rescinding DACA violates constitutional guarantees of due process and statutory administrative process mandates, resulting in adverse impacts to both individual DACA recipients and the states. The states argue that President Trump's conduct damages DACA grantees – causing loss of liberty, loss of earnings and earning capacity, and loss of valuable benefits – and the states themselves, because DACA grantees are no longer able to work, to contribute to economies or to attend educational institutions.
They argue that President Trump's discriminatory actions cannot be sufficiently justified by federal interests and that the Due Process Clause requires that immigration enforcement actions taken by the federal government be fundamentally fair. They further argue that the federal Administrative Procedures Act requires notice and comment before stripping protections relied upon by DACA enrollees and precludes actions taken arbitrarily and capriciously. The sole rationale for the President's action – that he believes DACA was an unconstitutional exercise of presidential authority – is wrong, in the states' view, and is a conclusion that no court of final jurisdiction has ever endorsed.
The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. In addition to Connecticut, other states taking part in this multistate action include Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.
Office of the Governor:
Office of the Attorney General:
Jaclyn M. Severance