San Jose on Thursday became the first city to sue President Donald Trump over his decision to roll back the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The suit filed in federal court claims the administration’s actions constitute a breach of contract and a violation of the Fifth Amendment.
Under DACA, undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children are protected from deportation. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier this month that he’d put an end to the Obama-era program, which puts the onus on Congress to come up with a legislative solution.
In San Jose, the 10th largest city in the nation, 40 percent of residents were born in another country. The lawsuit claims that because the city employs Dreamers, it would “suffer tangible losses” from Trump’s DACA rescission.
“The city’s own workforce is harmed by this rescission, imperiling the ability of these city employees to lawfully continue to serve our community in critical functions,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said at a news conference. “Our city residents directly suffer because they lose critical services at a time when we are already stretched thin with hundreds of vacancies at City Hall.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a similar lawsuit, as did University of California President Janet Napolitano. But those cases cover only state and UC employees.
In a press release from Liccardo’s office, city officials describe how Trump’s planned DACA revocation “has caused significant fear, uncertainty and impacts” among about 800,000 Americans brought to the country as kids.
“In addition, to qualify for this program, these individuals had to meet stringent eligibility requirements, including educational achievement and a lack of any felony or serious misdemeanor convictions,” the press release stated. “As a result, this action affects not only DACA recipients and their families, but the very communities to which they contribute so much.”