Home Immigration Virginia AG Mark Herring Joins Coalition Defending “DREAMers”

Virginia AG Mark Herring Joins Coalition Defending “DREAMers”


Thank goodness Mark Herring is our state’s Attorney General. Let’s make sure we keep it that way when we vote in November.

~ Virginia is one of 16 states who will challenge President Trump’s decision to terminate DACA and expose 12,000 Virginia DREAMers, and 800,000 across the country, to deportation ~
RICHMOND (September 6, 2017)-Attorney General Mark R. Herring today joined 15 other state attorneys general to defend DREAMers from President Trump’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a move that would harm Virginia’s businesses and economy, schools, and public safety efforts, all while threatening to tear families apart and send young people back to unfamiliar foreign countries. Herring and 19 fellow state attorneys general previously wrote President Trump encouraging him to maintain the DACA program and volunteering to help him defend it in court, if necessary. Now, Herring and his fellow state attorneys general intend to challenge the President’s actions in court in a lawsuit that alleges termination of the program violates Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fifth Amendment and regulatory laws that govern federal policy making.
“More than 12,000 DREAMers are living, learning, and working in Virginia today,”said Attorney General Herring. “I’ve had the privilege to meet and get to know many of these young people. They come from many countries and backgrounds. They have jobs, families, and academic careers. They work, learn, play sports, and worship alongside us and our kids. They are valued members of their companies, schools, and communities. Simply put, there is no upside to ending DACA, only downside. It will hurt Virginia’s economy and make our communities less safe. It will needlessly tear families apart, burden social services, and turn our back on promising, talented young people who want our country to success. I’m hopeful that Congress will do the right thing and fix this problem right away, but if they do not, we’ll be ready to defend Virginia DREAMers in court.”
“The roughly 12,000 DREAMers in the Commonwealth are more than just residents – they are friends, neighbors, employees, classmates, and they are Virginians,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “I wholeheartedly support Attorney General Herring joining the multi-state suit to protect the children of immigrants from President Trump’s cynical decision to rescind DACA. My administration will use every tool at our disposal to prevent these actions from harming Virginia families, our community, or our economy.”
“I thank Attorney General Herring for stepping up today to fight for Dreamers,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “AG Herring is again defending Virginia’s values, which this week came under threat following President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program. I support this legal challenge, but ultimately Congress must act to defend Dreamers, which means that Republican leaders in the House and Senate must agree to compromise and finally allow a vote on long-overdue immigration reform.”
Virginia and the other 15 states have filed suit in the Eastern District of New Yorkchallenging President Trump’s decision to terminate DACA. The states allege:
  • Violations of the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection guarantee
  • Violations of the Fifth Amendment’s due process guarantee based on the use of personal information submitted during the DACA process to facilitate deportation
  • Violations of the Administrative Procedure Act and Regulatory Flexibility Act
The states seek, among other forms of relief:
  • A declaration from the court that President Trump’s rescinding of DACA is unlawful
  • An injunction preventing rescinding of DACA
  • An injunction preventing the Trump administration from using DACA application information to facilitate deportation.
States filing today’s complaint are Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
Recipients of DACA, often called DREAMers, are young people who were brought to the United States at an early age without proper immigration documentation. In order to receive DACA status, a young person must come forward and apply for deferred action. To qualify, the applicant must have been brought to the United States at a young age, continually resided in the United States for the last ten years, be in school or the military, and have a clean criminal record.
More than 12,000 young people in Virginia have been approved for DACA according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. These young people are now in school or working in Virginia and it is estimated that removing them from the workforce would cost Virginia more than $711 million in annual GDP losses.
Nationwide, nearly 800,000 young people have been approved for DACA, and it is estimated that ending DACA would result in a loss of approximately $460 billion from the national GDP over the next decade. For this reason, business leaders and CEOs from some of America’s largest companies, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, General Motors, Facebook, HP, Starbucks, and more have written an open letter to President Trump and Congressional leaders expressing their support for the program.
A recent poll showed that nearly 80% of Americans believe that DREAMers should be allowed to remain in their home communities in the United States, rather than deported back to countries they may not have been to in decades and where they may have no connections.
recent survey of more than 3,000 DACA recipients found that:
  • The average age of arrival was 6.5 years old
  • 45% have a parent, sibling, spouse, or child who is a US citizen
  • 91% were employed, as opposed to only 44% before receiving DACA
  • 65% reported pursuing educational opportunities that were previously off limits for them
  • Nearly three quarters were pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher
There's no paywall on Blue Virginia, and we definitely want to keep it that way! If you want to help support our work, you can donate here - thanks! Also, you can sign up for our weekly email list here.