Former Dept. Of Homeland Security Secretary Issues Trump A Legal Wake-Up Call

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Recently, Donald Trump announced an end to the DACA program, which shields immigrants who were brought here as children, from deportation. Since then, several states have announced lawsuits against the Trump administration. However, states aren’t the only ones taking Trump to court. The University of California has announced that it will also be filing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security.

The UC system president, Janet Napolitano, served as the Secretary of DHS from 2009 to 2013 and was one of the creators of the DACA program. The university’s statement notes that during her time with DHS Napolitano ensured that DACA applicants had to pass strict requirements in order to qualify for the program, such as having served in the military, holding a high school diploma, and having never been convicted of felony or major misdemeanor, nor exhibit signs that the would be a threat to the public safety or national security.

“Neither I, nor the University of California, take the step of suing the federal government lightly, especially not the very agency that I led,” Napolitano said in a statement released by the school system. “It is imperative, however, that we stand up for these vital members of the UC community. They represent the best of who we are — hard working, resilient and motivated high achievers. To arbitrarily and capriciously end the DACA program, which benefits our country as a whole, is not only unlawful, it is contrary to our national values and bad policy.”

The university’s lawsuit asks the courts to set aside Trump’s rescission of DACA because it is “unconstitutional, unjust, and unlawful.” It notes that 800,000 people now face deportation from the only home they have ever known due entirely to “unreasoned executive whim.” The lawsuit notes that the University of California stands to lose important members of its communities and that deporting DACA students and educators would harm the university system. In total, about 4,000 members of the University of California community benefited from DACA.

‘…Thousands of DACA students have earned prized places as undergraduate and graduate students at the University of California through their record of high—even extraordinary—personal achievement in high school and college

‘…if these students leave the University before completing their education, UC will lose the benefits it derives from their contributions, as well as the value of the time and money it invested in these students with the expectation that they would be allowed to graduate and apply their talents in the United States job market.’

It also argues that the DACA rescission is a violation of the fifth amendment’s due process clause.

‘The University faces the loss of vital members of its community, students and employees. It is hard to imagine a decision less reasoned, more damaging, or undertaken with less care. … Defendants’ capricious rescission of the DACA program violates both the procedural and substantive requirements of the APA (Administrative Procedure Act), as well as the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

‘The Rescission and actions taken by Defendants to rescind DACA unlawfully deprive the University and its students of these and other constitutionally-protected interests without due process of law. Such deprivation occurred with no notice or opportunity to be heard.’

Featured image via Getty Images.

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