On Wednesday, fifteen states and the District of Columbia sued the U.S. government over the president’s plan to remove protections against deportation for young immigrants, alleging it was motivated by prejudice against Mexicans.
According to the Boston Herald, legal experts do not believe the evidence is strong enough to support a claim of bias in the suit seeking to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly referred to as DACA, in place.
Kari Hong, an immigration expert at Boston College Law School, told the Herald, “It might be able to muck up the works, maybe push off the effective date of the repeal, but I don’t see litigation being successful in the same way as the travel ban,” referring to the lawsuits earlier this year that were successful in limiting Trump’s ban that targeted predominantly Muslim nations.
The lawsuit cites Trump’s previous statements referring to Mexican immigrants as rapists and his decision to pardon former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of violating a judge’s order to stop immigration patrols that unlawfully targeted Latinos, as evidence of his bias.
The lawsuit, which was filed in a federal court in Brooklyn, says, “Ending DACA, whose participants are mostly of Mexican origin, is a culmination of President 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.”
The lawyers who brought the DACA lawsuit are all Democrats, and they represent states where the population of DACA participants ranges from hundreds to tens of thousands.
Those states are New York, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia.
California is not among the states noted as plaintiffs in the suit filed Wednesday, and the state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, told the Herald that he plans to file a separate lawsuit, noting the high number of DACA participants in the state.
Becerra said the California suit isn’t likely to make any different legal arguments.