University of California sues Trump administration on unlawful repeal of DACA program

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 12.51.06 PMThe University of California today (Sept. 8) filed suit in federal court against the Trump administration for wrongly and unconstitutionally violating the rights of the University and its students by rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on “nothing more than unreasoned executive whim.”
The lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its acting secretary, Elaine Duke, is the first to be filed by a university seeking to stop the Trump administration’s recently announced decision to end the DACA program, which has allowed nearly 800,000 undocumented young people to legally live, work and study in the United States.
UC President Janet Napolitano, who was secretary of DHS from 2009 to 2013, created the DACA program in 2012, setting in place a rigorous application and security review process. Applicants for DACA were only approved if they were in or had graduated from high school or college, or were in the military, or an honorably discharged veteran. They cannot have been convicted of a felony or major misdemeanor or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
“Neither I, nor the University of California, take the step of suing the federal government lightly, especially not the very agency that I led,” Napolitano said. “It is imperative, however, that we stand up for these vital members of the UC community. They represent the best of who we are — hard working, resilient and motivated high achievers. To arbitrarily and capriciously end the DACA program, which benefits our country as a whole, is not only unlawful, it is contrary to our national values and bad policy.”
The lawsuit asks the court to set aside the Trump administration’s rescission of DACA because it is “unconstitutional, unjust, and unlawful.”
“As a result of the Defendants’ actions, the Dreamers face expulsion from the only country that they call home, based on nothing more than unreasoned executive whim,” the complaint reads.
“The University faces the loss of vital members of its community, students and employees. It is hard to imagine a decision less reasoned, more damaging, or undertaken with less care. … Defendants’ capricious rescission of the DACA program violates both the procedural and substantive requirements of the APA (Administrative Procedure Act), as well as the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.”
UC has approximately 4,000 undocumented students, a substantial number of whom have DACA, as well as teachers, researchers and health care providers who are DACA recipients.
The lawsuit was filed with the pro bono support of the law firm Covington & Burling, LLP.
As today’s legal action demonstrates, UC continues to take a leadership role in protecting its DACA and other undocumented students. The university is committed to using all available resources to support the thousands of Dreamers who are currently enrolled at UC campuses, as well as other undocumented students. Those resources and services include:
  • Continuing to allow California residents who are Dreamers to pay in-state tuition;
  • Maintaining the DREAM loan program for financial aid;
  • Offering legal services to our undocumented students;
  • Supporting campus-based student service centers; and
  • Directing campus police not to contact, detain, question or arrest individuals based on suspected undocumented status, or to enter agreements to undertake joint efforts to make arrests for federal immigration law violations.

5 thoughts on “University of California sues Trump administration on unlawful repeal of DACA program

  1. Melanie,

    What could possibly be legally wrong with the President’s decision to dump DACA?

    1. Congress’ enumerated powers in Article I of the U.S. Constitution include the power “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization;. . .” The States do not have that power, Mayors of cities do not have that power and the President does not have that power.

    2. Likewise, Section 4, Article 4 of the U.S. Constitution, states:

    “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against INVASION;. . .” Our laws have universally been interpreted to give the Federal government the RESPONSIBIILTY to secure our borders.

    No, this is not an “unreasoning whim” by the Executive.

    * * *

    DACA has been held unconstitutional by the courts. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/court-rules-daca-is-likely-unconstitutional-218012601.html

    A Federal court in Texas also shut down President Obama’s effort to give the parents of “anchor babies” any sort of protection in 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/02/17/federal-judge-in-texas-blocks-obama-immigration-orders/?utm_term=.9450f2cb7bef

    “No law gave the administration the power ‘to give 4.3 million removable aliens what the Department of Homeland Security itself labels as ‘legal presence,’” the judge said in a memorandum opinion. “In fact the law mandates that these illegally-present individuals be removed.’ The Department of Homeland Security ‘has adopted a new rule that substantially changes both the status and employability of millions.'”

    Calling something “illegal” doesn’t make it so.

    What critics want instead is to continue to see these children kept in limbo in a precarious condition that leads to NOWHERE: DACA does not provide a path to citizenship or even legal status and can be – obviously – revoked at any time.

    President Trump was willing to go out on a limb and do ANOTHER Unconstitutional thing by extending the unconstitutional DACA to March, 2018 to give Congress time to act. He should be thanked. He has also promised to sign the Dreamers Act, if CONGRESS passes it. He should be thanked.

    The same critics had the Supreme Court hand them their heads, this year, over President Trump’s immigration ban. It will happen, again.

    1. DACA does not ‘naturalize’ – it defers deportation! DACA is not unconstitutional in the opinion of many and has not been properly tested in Court system … What will be proven unconstitutional is giving rights and then taking them away – because of the ripple effect and impact and many tests that will be applied. I could write a thesis – but do not have the time… If this was done in good faith to force the Republicans to legislate the Dream Act – then lets see the President push it like a good leader does! If it was not done with such good intent – an intent displaying solicitude “LOVE” blah blah – then we will see karma have its way!

      1. Melanie,

        I meant to respond to this, sooner. First of all, thank you for your civility in your response. Passions are high on both sides of this debate and for valid, caring reasons.

        Like many on the right, I am sick and tired of “taking care of everyone else” while ignoring our own people. I can’t take on the label of “America First” because that movement from the 1930’s was obviously racist and full of Jew-hatred and was supported by the likes of Henry Ford, Walt Disney and Charles Limbergh.

        But I am “AmericaNs First.” The Social Contract on which all of our social welfare programs are based states in essence that “I will take care of you, when you are financially down and out, so that you will be there for me, when I am financially down and out.” While the previous populist movement was racist because America was defined as White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, today’s movement should be to help all Americans – including black Americans who drown in a sea of hopelessness without hopes for job prospects. And yes, when you became a U.S. citizen, you swore to support that social contract and help build America.

        Even you have heard DACA supporters – like President Obama – make racist comments like ‘Americans who don’t have jobs are just lazy.’ Who are those Americans? White Americans WITH jobs? No, 78% of young black Americans. As a former South African, I’m sure you are sensitive to those crude comments.

        And, whenever I see a defense of DACA recipients, I see supporters making the argument of “Look at all the good they are doing!” This Good is often defined as “Look at all the jobs they’ve taken!” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/10/11/thousands-daca-teachers-risk/752082001/.

        Our fellow Americans need and want those jobs, Melanie.

        I am concerned, however, that you have never met any of the “Dreamers.” To help you and others who read your blog, I have several addresses where you can find the Dreamers:

        In California, we have the State of California Employment Development Department. That’s California’s unemployment office. Here are a few near you:

        EDD Workforce Service – San Francisco Civic Center
        801 Turk Street
        San Francisco, CA 94102

        Western Addition Neighborhood Access Point
        1449 Webster Street
        San Francisco, CA 94115

        Chinatown Neighborhood Access Point
        601 Jackson Street, 1st floor
        San Francisco, CA 94133

        Career Link Center – Mission
        3120 Mission Street
        San Francisco, CA 94110

        There, you can find lots and lots of American citizens and lawful Green Card holders who are Dreaming of a Job.

        You can also go online at CalJobs, but it’s probably harder to meet people, in person: http://www.edd.ca.gov/Jobs_and_Training/Caljobs.htm.

        – Jim Wherry

        1. I have met many Dreamers. To categorize as you do in the column of those who are in need of work or welfare does not reflect truthfully. There is always a micro of the macro and there will always be those who may be in need and require services. The truth is that I have met many lazy Americans and many hardworking Dreamers and vice versa – so to slot people makes no sense. For me this is not about jobs – its about giving people an equal opportunity – for them to do with it as they will and all the while NOT inhumanely sending people back to countries they have never lived in since tiny tots – or babies – thereby separating families. I know you travel Jim. I have felt the brunt of family being forced to live on unknown continents away from other close family. Its excruciating! I don’t give a damn if its costly. And for those Americans who cannot find work – ther factors that play in have almost ZERO to do with Dreamers!!!!

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