The US state of New York will sue President Donald Trump if he scraps a program shielding from deportation immigrants who came to the US illegally as children, officials said.
Trump is expected to announce on Tuesday if he will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program but will give Congress six months to craft legislation to replace it, according to local reports.
The president’s move to end DACA “would upend the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people who have only ever called America their home, including roughly 42,000 New Yorkers, said a statement jointly released by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday.
“If he moves forward with this cruel action, New York State will sue to protect the ‘dreamers’ and the state’s sovereign interest in the fair and equal application of the law,” Cuomo said.
Schneiderman said Trump’s decision to scrap the DACA program “cruel, gratuitous, and devastating to tens of thousands of New Yorkers, “I will sue to protect them,Dreamers are Americans in every way”.
He argued that more than 40,000 New Yorkers protected under DACA pay more than $140 million in state and local taxes and they are “vital members of our community”, Xinhua news agency reported.
The DACA, which was passed under the Obama administration in 2012, grants temporary residency and work privileges to those who entered the country before their 16th birthday. This group of undocumented immigrants are often described as Dreamers.
Under the program, Dreamers can apply to defer deportation and legally reside in the US for two years. After that, they can apply for renewal. By March 31, 240,700 people had applied for renewal in the 2017 fiscal year and nearly 800,000 renewals have been approved over the life of the program.