SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The University of California has sued the Trump administration over its decision to end a program protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.
The suit was filed Friday in the Northern District of California against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its acting Secretary
Elaine Duke. It includes university president Janet Napolitano as a plaintiff.
Napolitano was Homeland Security secretary under the Obama administration and helped implement its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Napolitano said that DACA students bring enormous talent to the university.
“Their loss would be very noticeable,” she said, adding that the lawsuit is meant also to protect students’ rights.
The University of California has about 4,000 undocumented students within its system and a substantial number are DACA recipients.
Additionally, some teachers, researchers and health care providers at the university are also DACA recipients, university officials said.
The lawsuit alleges that the decision to end DACA was not supported by reasoned decision-making as federal law requires.
Secondly, the lawsuit also alleges that the decision to end DACA did not follow the procedures under federal law, which include hearing from DACA recipients and other affected parties such as the University of California.
Thirdly, according to the suit, the decision to end DACA tramples on the due process rights of the university and its students and employees. Napolitano said those rights are being taken away by executive fiat.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security today said that according to policy, department officials don’t comment on pending lawsuits.
In a statement on Tuesday, Duke said that the DACA program conflicts with existing immigration laws and, as a result of recent lawsuits, DHS officials had to end the program.
Duke said officials could have ended it immediately but decided to wind it down and give Congress a chance to pass legislation to preserve it.
Napolitano has sent a letter to Congressional leaders and co-signed a letter with other university officials in California to urge
Congress to act.
“My message to Congress is that they should get to it,” she said.
About 800,000 people across the country are DACA recipients.
According to Napolitano, the lawsuit has “national implications.” 15 states have sued separately over the president’s decision.
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