Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Attorney General Donovan Files Lawsuit to Protect Dreamers And Preserve DACA

September 6, 2017

CONTACT: Natalie Silver, Executive Assistant, (802) 595-8679

September 6, 2017

16 Attorneys General File Suit in Eastern District of NY

Lawsuit Argues that Trump Administration Violates Due Process Rights; Harms States’ Residents, Institutions, and Economies; and Violates the Equal Protection Clause by Discriminating Against DREAMers of Mexican Origin, Who Account for 78% of DACA Grantees

Today, Attorney General Donovan joined a coalition of 16 Attorneys General in filing suit to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) grantees. The lawsuit, which was filed this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, details how the Trump administration has violated the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution by discriminating against DREAMers of Mexican origin, who make up 78 percent of DACA recipients; violated Due Process rights; and harmed States’ residents, institutions, and economies.

The lawsuit was led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and filed by a total of 16 Attorneys General: New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

Click here to read the complaint filed in court today.

There are approximately 800,000 DACA recipients across the country. According to the Center for American Progress, 97 percent of DACA grantees are employed or go to school. As the lawsuit states,

“Since 2012, DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of young people to live, study, and work in the United States, and to become stable and even more productive members of their communities, without fear that they could be arrested and placed in deportation proceedings at any moment. Throughout the country, DACA grantees are employed by various companies and State and municipal agencies, which benefit from their skills and productivity. DACA grantees also contribute significantly to State and local revenues and tax bases. Yet, as a result of the DHS Memorandum, approximately 1,400 DACA grantees will lose their work authorization and risk termination of employment each day as their terms begin to expire. DACA recipients will lose their eligibility for public and employer-based health insurance programs that reduce the States’ health expenditures and promote public health. They also will lose their right to enroll in higher education institutions with in-state admissions preferences and tuition; thus, public universities will be deprived of a means by which they enrich the experience of all students and faculty through diversity and new perspectives.

“…More than 78 percent of DACA grantees are of Mexican origin, which is more than double the percentage of people of Mexican origin that comprise of the overall foreign-born population (29 percent) of the United States. Ending DACA, whose participants are mostly of Mexican origin, is a culmination of President’s Trump’s oft-stated commitments—whether personally held, stated to appease some portion of his constituency, or some combination thereof—to punish and disparage people with Mexican roots.”

Last modified: March 12, 2018