Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday reiterated his promise to sue over President Donald Trump’s decision to scrap a program shielding immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children from deportation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions outlined plans to recind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program during a late morning news conference Tuesday, and gave Congress six months to come up with an alternative.
Just minutes after Sessions made the announcement, Cuomo tweeted that New York would stand with DACA recipients.
“We will not stand by as the lives of 42,000 New York Dreamers are destroyed,” the governor said.
DACA — passed under the Obama administration in 2012 — applies to those who entered the country illegally before their 16th birthday, who have attended school or joined the military and who have not committed any serious crimes. Participants receive a renewable two-year period of protection from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
Under the policy shift announced Tuesday, nearly 800,000 DACA recipients will lose their protection from deportation on March 5, 2018, unless Congress passes legislation addressing the issue before then.
The Department of Homeland Security will provide a limited window for some DACA recipients whose work permits expire before March 5, 2018, to apply to renew those permits. Such individuals must apply for renewal before Oct. 5, administration officials said.
Former DACA recipients whose work permits expire will be considered to be in the United States without permission and are eligible for removal, but they will be a low priority for immigration enforcement, the officials said.
On Monday, Cuomo and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman jointly announced they would file a lawsuit if Trump eliminated the program.
Schneiderman said Trump’s decision was “cruel,” and described DACA beneficiaries, or Dreamers, as “Americans in every way.
“They played by the rules. They pay their taxes,” — more than $140 million on the state and local levels, he estimated.
Ending the program would “rip families apart, sow havoc in our communities and force innocent people—our neighbors, our friends, and our relatives—to live in fear,” the governor said on Monday.
In another tweet on Tuesday, Cuomo said, “Rescinding #DACA is just feeding the beast of bigotry red meat. That’s all this is about.”
The attorney general of Washington state, Bob Ferguson, also threatened legal action on Monday. “I will use all the legal tools at my disposal to defend the thousands of Dreamers in Washington state.”
Ferguson and Schneiderman were among 20 attorneys general who wrote to Trump in July to say that if he ended the program, they would defend it “by all appropriate means.”
Nine Republican state attorneys general have said they would file suit on Tuesday if Trump did not end the program.