Washington’s governor and attorney general are threatening legal action if President Donald Trump ends a program shielding immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation.
Trump is expected to announce the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program Tuesday.
DACA, created in an executive order by former President Barack Obama in 2012, allows so-called “dreamers” – young people whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally as children – to receive legal protection from deportation and a work permit provided they attend college or serve in the military.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement the state would “consider every possible option,” including legal action, to challenge the repeal.
“The cruel action reported to be announced tomorrow by the president threatens the ability of these young men and women – many of whom know of no other place to call home – to pursue the incredible opportunities our nation promised them five years ago,” the statement said.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson threatened a suit should Trump decide to act.
“The Washington Attorney General’s Office will file suit to halt this cruel and illegal policy and defend DACA recipients,” Ferguson said. “We have been working closely with legal teams around the country, and we expect to be joined by other states in this action.
Ferguson was one of 19 attorneys general who signed a letter in July urging Trump not to repeal DACA. He previously sued the Trump administration in January over the president’s travel ban restricting immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries.
Inslee also urged Congress to pass the Dream Act, which would provide amnesty and a permanent path to citizenship for young people who have benefited from DACA. He said there are about 17,000 “dreamers” in Washington State.