Attorney generals in 10 states are urging President Donald Trump to rescind DACA, also known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – if not, they’ll sue.
On June 29, the 10-state coalition, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, signed a letter calling on the Secretary of Homeland Security to end DACA, which was implemented by President Obama in 2012, and to not renew or issue new DACA permits in the future. DACA applies to undocumented immigrants that came to the U.S. before the age of 16 and were 30 or younger as of June 2012. Those eligible were awarded a renewable two-year work permit and were allowed to lawfully live in the U.S.
“We respectfully request that the Secretary of Homeland Security phase out the DACA program,” Paxton wrote. “This request does not require the Executive Branch to immediately rescind DACA or Expanded DACA permits that have already been issued.”
Among the states supporting Paxton’s letter is Nebraska. Nebraska’s Attorney General, Doug Peterson, signed the letter, telling 3 News Now it’s his responsibility to uphold the constitution.
“I take an oath to uphold the constitution. It is not my intent to engage in public policy but to make certain the appropriate constitutional guidelines are complied with as it impact Nebraska. The purpose of the letter was to remind the administration that both DACA and DAPA as instituted by the Obama Administration, reach outside the scope of Presidential powers. We recognize this is a difficult issue that must be resolved by Congress. However, our job is to protect the separation of powers.”
Peterson’s decision was quickly criticized by local dreamers and activists, especially after Trump’s administration announced last month that DACA would remain in effect.
“It is incredibly disappointing to see our attorney general establish a position that is even more radical than what President Trump has proposed or talked about recently,” said Danielle Conrad, the executive director at ACLU of Nebraska. “These are young people, who through no fault of their own, are really caught in the middle of this broken immigration system.”
Nebraska Appleseed said in a statement:
“We are extremely disappointed that the Nebraska Attorney General decided to add Nebraska to this letter. DACA is an extremely successful program that has had a positive impact for Nebraska’s communities, families, and economy. It has allowed thousands of smart, talented, and hardworking young Nebraskans to make valuable contributions to their local communities and economies by attending school, going to work, and putting their skills and talents to use in the only place they know as home.”
Albert Varas, executive director at the Latino Center of the Midlands told 3 News Now Peterson’s stance was unacceptable and counterproductive. “Over 3,000 DACA recipients are now contributing to our state and federal income, and it would be a step backwards to return talented, skilled, and hardworking Nebraskans to the shadows.” He continued to say “The Latino Center will continue to advocate on behalf of the families that we serve, and we are committed to working with our trusted partners throughout the state to protect the rights of everyone residing in the state.”
The coalition is giving the Trump administration until September 5 to deactivate DACA. If the administration doesn’t oblige, the coalition will carry out its lawsuit against the program.
The coalition also includes the signatures of the top legal officials in Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.