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AG Mark Herring Blocks Trump’s Move to End DACA Program


Great work by AG Mark Herring!

~ Nationwide injunction issued in lawsuit filed by Attorney General Herring and fellow state attorneys general ~
RICHMOND (February 13, 2018)-Today, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in the Eastern District of New York blocked President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program after a suit challenging the termination of the program was filed by Attorney General Mark R. Herring and 16 fellow state attorneys general.
The court found that Attorney General Herring and his fellow plaintiffs were likely to prove that the Trump Administration’s decision violated the law because it was “arbitrary and capricious,” and therefore issued a nationwide injunction that “enjoins defendants from rescinding the DACA program, pending a decision on the merits of these cases.”
“President Trump’s decision to end DACA was the very definition of arbitrary and capricious, as well as heartless and cruel,” said Attorney General Herring. “There’s a reason that our laws prevent a President from making sweeping, disruptive changes on a whim, even if this President still doesn’t seem to understand that. DREAMers have lived here for years, go to school here, start businesses and families here, and contribute to the success of our Commonwealth and our country. Ending the DACA program would turn their lives upside down, hurting our economy, our communities, and our public safety efforts. While this injunction will hopefully provide some sense of relief and assurance to DREAMers who are living in fear of deportation, as well as their spouses, children, employers, and friends, it cannot be an excuse for continued inaction by Congress and the President.”
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.
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.
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.
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

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