Statement From Attorney General James Following Court Hearing On Lawsuit Against Trump Administration Over Termination Of DACA

NEW YORK – Following a court hearing regarding an injunction halting the federal government’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement:   

“I am proud of the work that the New York State Attorney General’s Office is doing to challenge the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back protections for DACA recipients. We are leading a coalition of 17 Attorneys General against this illegal and unconstitutional action.    

“Approximately 42,000 New Yorkers have benefited from DACA. But the beneficiaries of this program extend beyond these individuals: they include the communities; the institutions; and in fact, our entire economy that benefits from immigrants each and every day. We know that New York’s DACA recipients contribute $140 million in state and local taxes annually. Beyond the dollars and cents: we know that an attack on DACA is an attack on the values that have always made our country great.     

“As noted in our July 2017 letter to the President, DACA sensibly guides immigration officials’ exercise of their enforcement discretion and reserves limited resources to address individuals who threaten our communities, not those who contribute greatly to them. Challenges have been brought against the original DACA program, including in the Fifth Circuit, but none have succeeded   

“I am grateful to the attorneys and advocates who have passionately fought for DACA and I commit that the Office of New York State Attorney General will continue to stand up for immigrants at every turn.”  

In September 2017, the New York State Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District (EDNY) challenging the Trump Administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Since 2012, DACA has allowed approximately 800,000 young people who were brought to this country as children and lack legal status to live, study, and work in the U.S. without fear of arrest or deportation. In February 2018, Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the EDNY issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, halting the termination of the program. The New York State Attorney General’s Office is leading a coalition of 17 Attorneys General who have signed onto this lawsuit.