“Earlier today, more than a dozen Attorneys General and I filed a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s decision to end the successful DACA program that the Federal Government started five years ago.
I have reviewed the President’s actions and determined they violate the rule of law.
I’m forced to act because of a failure of leadership, both by President Trump and by Congress to fix our broken immigration system.
800,000 young people, including 5,889 Pennsylvanians, were brought to our country as babies, infants and young children in the care of their parents. They grew up in America and for many, this is their only home.
The Federal Government introduced a program, called DACA, and asked these young people to register. They paid a $495 fee, passed background checks, submitted personal information including their fingerprints and home address, and obeyed our laws as adults. They go through this process every two years. In exchange, they went to school and went to work for our country. They paid taxes – and don’t receive federal benefits such as welfare and food stamps. They bought their first homes. They joined our military.
The 5,889 recipients here in Pennsylvania are contributing to our Commonwealth – 87 percent are employed. They generate over $20 million in state and local taxes.
Whether or not you agree with the policy or support President Trump isn’t the issue here. The Federal Government made a promise, they put a program in place and asked these young people who have grown up as Americans to apply, and the rule of law says we can’t rip that away from them now.
Make no mistake – our immigration laws are a disgrace. President Trump and Congress owe the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the American people enforceable immigration laws that make us safe and create jobs. Washington has debated this issue and done nothing for fifteen years. It’s shameful.
Our lawsuit lays out a series of concerns, from making sure the Federal Government doesn’t use the information provided by DREAMers against them to the economic harm done to our Commonwealth. If the Administration addresses these concerns and modifies their order, I’ll be the first to commend them.
But the Administration can not violate the rule of law as we wait for Congress to do their job and that’s why I’m taking legal action today.”