San Jose Sues President Trump over DACA Rollback

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.”


  1. Sam Liccardo is misusing our legal system to conceal what he knows San Jose is doing to far more families and children in the Family Court system. Every day families are torn apart , placed on public assistance and denied fundamental rights because San Jose has allowed a $283,000,000 courthouse to be built where judges violate individual rights and act more to benefit lawyers than families and children. DCSS and other state agencies costing billions ruin the dreams of children born and brought to Santa Clara County from the moment they enter our family courts, but now San Jose wants to take this issue to federal court rather than take care of the people who have been living her for generations – shameless. This is really about all the free money and federal funds San Jose will lose, and they are wasting more money doing it.

  2. Appalling and absolute waste of taxpayers’ money to further Liccardo’s political ambitions. Not only is the litigation is redundant, but the country’s top legal scholars predict anti-DACA litigation will fail. If one president can’t undo a previous one’s executive order, then we face a constitutional crisis.

    Regardless of one’s views on DACA, this is another example of Liccardo diverting money from our critical needs like our decaying streets and inadequate public safety response time.

  3. The lawsuit claims that because the city employs Dreamers, it would “suffer tangible losses” – are these city employees persons who are not here legally – – -meaning they are not American citizens – – – – is this to say that these persons are “more qualified” to fill these positions? or is this an admission of politically motivated hiring at the public expense?
    Isn’t there a violation of public trust here? Or are these persons simply taking jobs (and the plush union benefits and pensions) that citizens themselves cannot then have? this seems akin to knocking down an elderly person, taking their wallet and then laughing at them.

  4. Were SJI to have considered this story objectively the headline would’ve read:

    San Jose Invests More Resources on Liccardo’s Political Résumé

    Pardon me if I’m not impressed with San Jose to have been first city to sue, as it doesn’t do a damn thing to fix any of the real problems which the mayor is supposed to spend his time. But, if ranking is going to be the measure of choice, consider these other issues in which San Jose has grabbed the local lead:

    Youth Gangs
    Crumbling Streets
    Neglected Parks
    Illegal Aliens
    Roadside Litter
    Failed Litigation
    Dead Pedestrians
    Political Stunts
    Street Beggars

    Of course, Liccardo’s record hasn’t all been rosy; consider these last place finishes:

    Police Staffing
    Fire Protection
    City Hall Services
    Weed Abatement
    Business Tax Revenue
    Traffic Enforcement
    Graduation Rates

    I realize these lists are incomplete, but I only had 10 minutes.

    • Frustrated, Don’t forget the 9th Circuit handed us an $11.3M tab + legal costs in a Sept. 5th decision after a SJDP officer shot a mentally ill man in the back in 2014. His crime: threatening suicide with a knife. He’s paralyzed for life. He posed no harm to anyone according to eyewitnesses, and all appeals have been exhausted.

      • I was shocked that the city put to risk the city treasury and the officer’s reputation by allowing City Attorney office lawyers to handle the case rather than an outside firm (as had long been the practice). Perhaps it was part of a cost-cutting strategy so that more can be spent on the homeless and the illegals.

        The decision was a travesty. The plaintiff was shot within hours after being released by the county’s experts at Emergency Psych Services. He had armed himself at first opportunity, was acting paranoid, and was beyond the control of his boyfriend and the neighbor (whose contradictory testimony single-handedly delivered the verdict).

        More info available at:

        • Finfan,
          Excellent point. The lead SJ attorney, Greenberg,! is a lightweight compared to a seasoned litigator like plaintiff’s attorney, Burris. Greenberg’s career seems to be 31 years of pushing paper after graduating from a law school that fails to make the Top 100 list.

          Of course the real issue is why City Attorney Rick Doyle handled it this way – or was allowed to by Liccardo.

  5. > The lawsuit claims that because the city employs Dreamers, it would “suffer tangible losses” from Trump’s DACA rescission.

    Isn’t it illegal for an employee to employ illegal aliens?

    Didn’t the City of San Jose use E-verify to verify the citizenship status of the people it hired?

    This seems like a slam-dunk countersuit for the Feds.

    Now the taxpayers get to fund Liccardo’s meritless suit AND defend against the Feds legitimate and very costly claims.

    This isn’t going to end well for San Jose and it’s taxpayers.

    • SJOTB,
      My understanding is that hiring DACA registrants is not illegal. However, I’m assuming that DOJ could demand their names (and employment applications) in order to confirm legal standing – i.e., that SJ has a legitimate basis for the litigation. And that could reveal their illegal relatives who would then be subject to deportation.

      Liccardo (an attorney) and City Attorney Rick Doyle appear to have rolled the dice. They would attempt to keep the records under seal, thus adding more cost to the doomed litigation or decide to drop the suit to avoid disclosure. The latter scenario seems more likely as it looks like a political settlement will be reached or Congress will reform immigration law before the DACA deportations commence or the DACA litigation would be decided.

      Note that the press conference was orchestrated to hit the media for the Mexican flag raising ceremony held this morning at city hall and in time for this evening’s news. Regardless, this is all about Liccardo’s political ambitions.

    • Obama gave people who signed up for DACA the legal right to work in the United States. (Heaven knows how.)
      So the City of San Jose did not violate the law. But I think it was a foolish move so long as any legal residents need a job.

  6. > California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a similar lawsuit,

    Xavier Becerra!!!

    HA! There’s a paragon of Democrat probity! CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL?!!!!!

    Better qualified to be Minister of Bananas in the California Banana Republic. Becerra is up to his eyeballs in sleaze, standing on his tiptoes.

    “BOOM! Top Democrat Becerra Is Caught Giving Cops a Fake Server on Imran Awan Scandal”

    > as did University of California President Janet Napolitano.

    Janet Napolitano!!!!

    “Napolitano’s UC hid $175 million while demanding money, audit says”

    Why are Becerra and Napolitano filing lawsuits defending illegal executive orders when they should be in orange jumpsuits filing petitions to get their own crooked butts out of jail?

    • If these are your sources for news,it’s no wonder that you’re biased & don’t have a clue what you’re talking about most of the time. Gateway Pundit “:a conservative political blog”,Breitbart “a far-right website”,True Pundit “an alt-right political conspiracy webpage” & FOX News “fake news 24/7” don’t report the news,they just spew right-wing propaganda. I prefer to get my news from Pulitzer Price winning journalists who draw a line between the actual news & opinionated editorial content masquerading as fact. There are plenty of liberal & progressive purveyors of propaganda as well,but they don’t pretend to be reporting their opinions as today’s news. Anyone can say that President Trump or President Obama is the worst President ever & they may believe it’s true,but it’s still just an opinion & a matter of great conjecture at that. Whether either “opinion” is correct only time & historians will tell. The difference between Sean Hannity’s rabid alt-right cheerleading pretending to be the news & Rachel Maddow’s fervent fact filled progressive news program is like night & day. Dismissing trusted news sources such as the Washington Post,the New York Times & network news as “fake news” while embracing websites & bloggers with an axe to grind just goes to show how delusional those on the far right have become. When you stick your heads in the ground it just exposes to everybody else who you really are & no one wants to look at your plumber’s crack. Although it does make for a great place to plant that flag that you’ve been waving ! Multiple trumped up politically motivated Hilary investigations & nary an indictment,much less a conviction. While eight months into his Presidency Trump & his cronies are already lawyered up & waiting for the other shoe to drop. It seems that those screaming the loudest to put Clinton in jail may soon be receiving their own mail there,because karma certainly is a bitch (and that’s a fact) !

      • Herbal:

        Your mind is wandering.

        My posting was about Xavier Becerra and Janet Napolitano.

        > It seems that those screaming the loudest to put Clinton in jail may soon be receiving their own mail there,because karma certainly is a bitch (and that’s a fact) !

        I wasn’t screaming about putting Clinton in jail. This time.

        By the way, were you referring to Bill, Hillary, or Chelsea?

      • Herb, I see you refuse to name your reading sources, but hold up the NYT and the Washington Post as reliable. Really? You wouldn’t know,a truthful media source if it bit you on the a$$.

  7. “There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
    He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
    He bought a crooked cat, which found a crooked mate,
    And they all lived together in a little crooked state”.

  8. USSC decision Chan Chae Ping V. United States: the establishment and enforcement of immigration law are the exclusive plenary powers of the legislative and executive branches. In other words, constitutionality of immigration law, per se, is not an issue, only whether enforcement meets the letter of the law.

    If the judiciary has no standing to determine the constitutionality of immigration law, the only question is whether DACA violated current immigration law. Since the Constitution does not permit the executive branch to override immigration law and since the oath of office for POTUS requires that POTUS faithfully ensure laws are enforced, logic would dictate only one logical judicial conclusion: DACA was a clear violation of immigration law and therefore unconstitutional. And DACA was never, itself, a law, only an executive order which, even if it were lawful (and in this case, it is not) is as temporary as the tenure of the executive who issued it.

  9. All that DACA promised was that these aliens would be the last to be deported. I am surprised that the city is hiring aliens who came here illegally, instead of citizens and green card holders.

    • Chi Expat, Excellent point.

      Makes me wonder if CSJ has a preferential hiring practice. Assuming comparable candidates, who gets job offers? Preference for SJ residents, etc.? If the litigation proceeds, then the discovery process could expose a lot of embarrassing, ugly details. CSJ claims they have lots of unfilled positions. That’s the excuse for lengthy service delays.

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