The University of California became the first college Friday to sue the Trump administration over its decision to rollback the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
UC president Janet Napolitano, who helped form the DACA program in 2012, filed the lawsuit in a federal court, alleging that the Trump administration’s decision violated the rights of the students who participate in the program, reports KTVU.
“Neither I, nor the University of California, take the step of suing the federal government lightly, especially not the very agency that I led,” Napolitano said. “It is imperative, however, that we stand up for these vital members of the UC community. To arbitrarily and capriciously end the DACA program, which benefits our country as a whole, is not only unlawful, it is contrary to our national values and bad policy.”
Napolitano was serving as the secretary of the Department of Homeland during the Obama administration when she helped form DACA, which gives children brought to the United States illegally two year work permits to stay in the country. The Trump administration announced Tuesday that they would be rescinding the program with a six month delay in order to allow Congress time to act if they want.
Napolitano’s lawsuit argues that rolling back DACA will harm the University of California by taking away productive students and that the Trump administration did not take the proper steps when deciding to cancel the program.
“The University has constitutionally-protected interests in the multiple educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body. If these students leave the University before completing their education, UC will lose the benefits it derives from their contributions, as well as the value of the time and money it invested in these students,” the lawsuit says.
There are currently 800,000 illegal immigrants who receive DACA in the United States. Approximately 4,000 illegal immigrant students attend the UC campus, a good portion of which are students who are on DACA.
“As the Attorney General said on last Tuesday: ‘No greater good can be done for the overall health and well-being of our Republic, than preserving and strengthening the impartial rule of law.’ While the plaintiffs in today’s lawsuit may believe that an arbitrary circumvention of Congress is lawful, the Department of Justice looks forward to defending this Administration’s position,” Devin O’Malley, a Department of Justice spokesman, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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