It is hardly surprising that a blizzard of lawsuits have arisen since President Donald Trump announced plans to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which, since Barack Obama’s administration, has protected some 800,000 young unauthorized immigrants.
DACA was the moral solution for children who have never known a home other than the United States, but who were brought here without documentation by their parents. It’s also popular with voters, who see the good sense in encouraging these young “Dreamers” who, in many cases, are among the nation’s best and brightest. Their deportation would run counter to American principles.
As UC Berkeley Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky points out, Trump’s claim that DACA is unconstitutional is baseless. As UC Davis Law School Dean Kevin R. Johnson writes, the program’s proposed rescission is one more reason for California to pass Senate Bill 54, the pending sanctuary state legislation by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León.
Already, more than a dozen states have joined New York and Washington state’s lawsuit over DACA. But California is right to take separate action. This state is home to more than a quarter of those living, working and going to school under the program. The University of California alone has some 4,000 DACA students. These young people are contributing members of our communities.
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So we welcome the legal challenges to Trump’s directive by Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and by UC President Janet Napolitano, who helped create DACA when she was Obama’s Homeland Security secretary.
A society is judged by its treatment of vulnerable people. Few deserve our protection more than the DACA kids, who are American in every way but on paper. All Californians should feel a sense of pride that their top officials are making it clear that California has their backs.